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Good relationship buffers job stress

GOTHENBURG, Sweden, June 24 (UPI) -- A good relationship can act as a buffer for those exposed to work-related stress that can hurt health, a researcher in Sweden said.

However, poor relationships will amplify the negative effects of work-related stress, said Ann-Christine Andersson Arnten, a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

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When there are stressful experiences both at work and in a relationship, the risk of burn-out and poor health increases dramatically, the researcher said.

The study involved some 900 people who participated in a survey.

Those who felt they had a good relationship reported they enjoyed better health than those who had a more problematic relationship, the study found.

The dissertation said that women with a poorly-functioning relationship experienced more anxiety, mental stress reactions and sleeping difficulties than women who had a good relationship.

Men who had a mediocre relationship had a higher incidence of depression, anxiety, psychological and somatic stress reactions than men with worse or better relationships, the study said.

After having been exposed to stress, the body must recover and recharge itself, but if there is no opportunity to recover because the work doesn't allow for breaks and lunches, the body's reserves are emptied, and poor health ensues, the researcher said.

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The same principle applies when a person takes work home, frequently works overtime or has recurring quarrels and problems in his or her relationship, Arnten said.

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