Stress can be detrimental for your health, adding to from higher blood pressure level to nausea. Now, a new study zeroes in one of the the largest causes of stress-our jobs-and shows that exercise may be an ideal way to alleviate the health problems sometimes caused by work stress.
In a new report published within the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, researchers checked out 200 Swedish workers and assessed their levels of stress while using Nordic Questionnaire for Psychological and Social Factors at Work. The people were also evaluated for heart health by blood pressure level, weight and cholesterol, and they also had their fitness levels assessed.
Researchers discovered that the people who were more stressed had higher amounts of risks for cardiovascular disease. But the individuals who were healthier were not as likely to possess these risk factors. Which means that people with high stress levels had higher amounts of unhealthy cholesterol compared to stressed people who were healthier. Exercise may behave as a buffer against some of the health risks factors that are considered to be brought on by an excessive amount of stress, the authors argue. Since the individuals the study were asked about their levels of stress in general, and not work stress alone, the study also talks to exercise’s capability to combat the general results of stress.
The researchers didn’t ask the people in the study whether exercise relieved their stress, but other studies suggest it will. “However, the paradox is that following a stressful day, individuals are more prone to participate in sedentary activities-most likely since these activities need less self-regulatory resources than exercise,” says study author Markus Gerber of University of Basel in Switzerland. “Thus, although exercise may well be a good medicine against stress, it’ll only have an impact if ‘the pill’ is taken.”
More research is needed to see whether likely to ideal time to exercise for to reduce stress, but Gerber says some evidence suggests that the four-hour window after being active is when fitness provides the most protection against stress.
This article originally appeared on Time.com.