What causes high blood pressure: Does stress cause high blood pressure ?

A lot of people tend to believe that work stress is the reason they develop high blood pressure in the course of their job.

Is this believe valid? Is there a justification for it?

Let us start by explaining some variables:

What is high blood pressure: Blood pressure is the tension which blood exerts on the blood vessels when passing through it. It is expressed in terms of systolic/Diastolic.

The normal blood pressure is expected to range between: 100 – 120/70 – 80 systolic/diastolic

When the blood pressure exceeds these boundaries and is sustained at that level, then a person can be said to have hypertension.

What is job stress: In a layman term, work stress is a physical or mental overexertion of an individual caused by his/her job demands.

What is the relationship between job stress and hypertension?

It is understood that some stressors are produced during work which could raise the workers blood pressure temporarily; but the blood pressure is expected to go back to normal after that task has been completed.

Due to the importance of this question “ What causes high blood pressure: Does stress cause high blood pressure ”; researcher has carried out studies to ascertain the validity of this believe and they came back to affirm that there is not direct link between work stress and high blood pressure.

Though there is no direct link between work stress and high blood pressure, stress still plays a part in the development of high blood pressure. Stress related lifestyle has been highlighted as the link between stress and high blood pressure.

Workers develop poor lifestyle because of stress. These lifestyles predispose them to developing hypertension over time. Some of these lifestyles includes:

These poor lifestyles lead to development of sleep apnea, narrowing of blood vessels which could be caused by tobacco smoking, overexertion of the brain by hard drugs and tobacco, etc.

All these could lead to the development of hypertension.

Though work stress is not directly responsible for developing of hypertension, but good stress management pattern could be a decisive move to prevent getting sunk into unhealthy stress response habits.

Advice on stress management

  • Avoid alcohol abuse, tobacco smoking, drug abuse, etc.
  • Try to get enough sleep
  • Eat good and balance diet and try to avoid eating very late
  • Exercise could help you relax; try it at much as possible
  • Socialize to avoid boredom and depression which pushes some people into substance abuse.
  • Pick a hobby. Any positive thing you love doing which do help you relax, develop it. It may be singing, playing piano, watching or playing football, etc.
  • Develop a positive attitude to work, ask questions when you are not clear about a task you have been assigned to.
  • Learn to ignore and laugh over some attitudes you come across at work, it could be from your boss or colleague. Do not take them to mind; mental and emotional stress are worse than physical stress.

RECAP: What causes high blood pressure: Does stress cause high blood pressure ?

The answer – Directly “NO”

–  Indirectly “YES”

EXPLANATION SUMMARY: Work stress directly do not cause high blood pressure but the way we respond to stress can predispose us to developing hypertension.

Let us always develop a positive attitude toward stress on our job and live healthy and safe.


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By Ubong Edet

A passionate Health and Safety professional with a good level of field experience and relevant certifications including NEBOSH, OSHA, ISO, etc certifications. An Health and Safety activist who believes in the growth and continual improvement of the profession. He is going all out to create awareness and safe precious lives.

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