August 31, 2014 by Ken Nowack

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
Vince Lombardi


Work Hours and Health

How many hours, on average, a day do you work?

  1. Less than 7
  2. 7 to 8
  3. 9 to 11
  4. More than 11

If you regularly work very long hours, you may want to reconsider. A study by Mika Kiivimaki and colleagues at University College London suggests that people who put in 11 hours or more of work on a daily basis may significantly increase their risk for coronary heart disease1.

Traditional calculations of the likelihood of heart disease are based on genetic and lifestyle factors including age, sex, exercise, blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and smoking. However, factors like daily work hours are not usually considered.

University College London researchers assessed data on more than 7,000 civil service workers first studied in 1991-1992 (Whitehall II study) who showed no signs of any heart disease. The same group was studied every 5 years until 2004. Researchers found that adding information about work habits actually improved predictions of heart disease. Those who reported working 11 hours a day or more had a 1.67-fold increased risk compared to those who said they work only 7 or 8 hours per week.

Vacations and Health

How likely, on average, do you take the full vacation time allotted to you by your organization in a year?

  1. Never
  2. Seldom
  3. Sometimes
  4. Often
  5. Always

If you answered never, seldom or sometimes you might want to reconsider.

Researcher Karen Matthews from the University of Pittsburgh studied 12,338 men for nine years as part of a large coronary heart disease study called MRFIT2. She found that taking annual vacations by middle-aged men at high risk for coronary heart disease was associated with a significant reduction in all-cause mortality and more specifically death due to heart disease

Her study provides some interesting research in support of the argument that vacations might actually be good for your health, particularly if you work long hours, have a heavy workload, and tend to “burn the midnight oil” on a frequent basis.

Coffee/Tea Consumption and Health

How many cups of tea or coffee do you drink a day?

  1. None
  2. 1-2
  3. 3-4
  4. 5-6
  5. More than 6

If you are going to work long hours, then at least drink a lot of coffee and tea. Researchers found that moderate consumption of either drink can reduce your chance of death from a heart attack by at least a fifth (but not stroke or any other diseases) in a recent study of of 37,514 people followed for 13 years3

They found that tea had the biggest positive impact on preventing heart disease and consumption of coffee was also beneficial if not excessive (6 or more cups of coffee/day):

  • Those who drank between 3-6 cups of tea were 45 percent less likely to have CHD problems
  • Those had drank more than 6 cups of tea had a 36 percent lower risk

While drinking of alcoholic beverages (no more than 2 drinks daily for males and 1 drink a day for females) is also associated with cardiovascular protection there is no study yet on what happens long term if you work long hours, drink a lot of coffee, and spike a few cups of it with your favorite distilled spirit…..Be well…

  1. Kivimaki, M. et al. (2011). Using Additional Information on Working Hours to Predict Coronary Heart Disease: A Cohort Study. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 154, 457-463 []
  2. Gump, B. & Matthews, K. (2000). Are vacations good for your health? The 9-year mortality experience after the multiple risk factor intervention trial. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62, 608-612 []
  3. Gans, J. et al. (2010). Tea and Coffee Consumption and Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.109.201939 []

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Top Leadership Development Blog Posts this Week: 8/29/14

August 29, 2014 by Wally Bock

Leadership development may be the most important thing any company does. That’s why, every week, I review blogs and other publications that cover leadership development to find the very best leadership development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to posts about knowing yourself so you can know your team, leadership pipelines running dry, leadership development […]

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Free Coaching Exercise: My Thought Patterns

August 27, 2014 by Ken Nowack

This free exercise, and dozens of others, were created for our book, Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It. You can learn more about Clueless by visiting our site or you can buy it from amazon.com today. Purpose of Exercise: Help clients establish greater awareness of their thought patterns. How to Administer and Use […]

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Leadership development: Take Counsel of Your Peers

August 27, 2014 by Wally Bock

Leadership Development from Peer to Peer Leadership development programs get all the press. But we know that most learning happens on the job. Too many leadership development programs concentrate on formal classroom learning. But we know that leaders learn a lot from each other. Peer support can be the link between conscious development and informal, […]

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Talent Management Facts #39

August 24, 2014 by Ken Nowack

“42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.” Steven Wright Another addition of leadership and talent management “facts” from all over the world.  Some intuitive and some not….what do you think? 1. Stress is the number one workforce risk issue, ranking above physical inactivity and obesity, according to the 2013/2014 Towers Watson […]

Posted in Engagement, Leadership Development, Relate, Wellness

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Top Leadership Development Blog Posts this Week: 8/22/14

August 22, 2014 by Wally Bock

Leadership development may be the most important thing any company does. That’s why, every week, I review blogs and other publications that cover leadership development to find the very best leadership development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to posts about corporate universities, measuring the results of executive coaching, critical leadership skills, and leadership development […]

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Free Coaching Exercise: Being Mindful Through Self-Reflection

August 20, 2014 by Ken Nowack

This free exercise, and dozens of others, were created for our book, Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It. You can learn more about Clueless by visiting our site or you can buy it from amazon.com today. Purpose of Exercise: Offers a schedule for self-reflection practice (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.) How to […]

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Leadership development: Environment and Culture

August 20, 2014 by Wally Bock

Dan McCarthy offers “10 Powerful Ways to Develop Your Employees.” Dan Rockwell says that there are “5 Essentials for Developing Remarkable Leaders.” That’s all good, but the companies who do leadership development well do more. They pay attention to the environment and create a culture of leadership development. Get serious If you’re serious about leadership […]

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The Neurobiology of Followership

August 17, 2014 by Ken Nowack

“I am reminded how hollow the label of leadership sometimes is and how heroic followership can be.” Warren Bennis People follow leaders for two reasons–the first is because they believe that the leader has a vision of a better tomorrow (more accurate knowledge and ability to translate it into results) and the second is that […]

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Top Leadership Development Blog Posts this Week: 8/15/14

August 15, 2014 by Wally Bock

Leadership development may be the most important thing any company does. That’s why, every week, I review blogs and other publications that cover leadership development to find the very best leadership development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to posts about challenging tomorrow’s leaders, finding and developing HiPos , learning in the Collaboration Age, and […]

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