Does Working on ‘Maggie's Farm' Raise Your Blood Pressure?

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By Martin Berman-Gorvine

May 24 — Bob Dylan once memorably sang, in “Maggie's Farm,” of a bad boss who “fines you every time you slam the door.” Can such micromangement raise your blood pressure?

According to an April article in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, stressful interactions with supervisors actually do raise employees' blood pressure. “After accounting for relevant cardiovascular controls, significant effects of supervisory interactions on cardiovascular reactivity and recovery were found,” write Jennifer H.K. Wong and Dr. E. Kevin Kelloway of St. Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. “Specifically, negatively perceived supervisory interactions at work predicted poorer cardiovascular recovery after work.”

The study was based on a sampling of 55 long-term care employees. The article abstract can be seen at http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/ocp/21/2/133/.