Supportive Co-workers May Lengthen Life

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TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 6 (UPI) — Workers get health benefits when they feel co-workers have their back and spend some time with them at the water cooler, researchers in Israel suggest.

Dr. Sharon Toker of Tel Aviv University’s Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration says employees who believe they have the personal support of their peers at work are more likely to live longer lives.

“We spend most of our waking hours at work, and we don’t have much time to meet our friends during the weekdays,” Toker says in a statement. “Work should be a place where people can get necessary emotional support.”

Toker and her Tel Aviv University’s colleagues Arie Shirom and Yasmin Alkaly, along with Orit Jacobson and Ran Balicer from Clalit Healthcare Services, tracked the health records of 820 adults who worked an average of 8.8 hours a day through a two-decade period.

The study, published in the journal Health Psychology, found those who had reported having low social support at work were 2.4 times more likely than others to die sometime within the 20-year period.

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