If you want to know your chances of catching a cold or flu this winter, two factors play a major role in determining your immunity to viruses.
Research at Maastricht University, in the Netherlands, shows that if you can get more sleep and reduce your stress at work, you may significantly increase your chances of staying well.
The study reveals that employees in highly demanding jobs suffer from colds 20 percent more often than employees in less demanding positions. Also, job insecurity — for example, as a result of reorganizations — leads to an increase in flu and gastroenteritis. Employees working shifts have a higher chance of developing infections than daytime employees. The risk is greatest among those who work in a three-shift system.
The research also demonstrates that fatigue, and in particular burnout, increases the risk of infections. Employees with burnout complaints suffered from gastroenteritis almost twice as often as employees without burnout.