ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta)– We’ve all experienced stress at work, but could that stress make you sick? High levels of job stress could increase the risk of sick leave from resulting health disorders, a new study suggests.

Researchers evaluated data from 12,000 Swedish workers over five years and found that 8 percent of them took mental health sick leave, as reported by CBS News. Seventy-five percent of those who took mental health days were female workers.

Individuals with more demanding jobs, high job strain, lack of social support in the work place, and unhealthy lifestyles were linked with a greater risk of mental health sick leave.

“While everyone experiences stress at times, a prolonged bout of it can affect your health and ability to cope with life. That’s why social support and self-care are important,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns.

The research supports previous studies suggesting that psychological conditions in the workplace affect the amount of mental health sick leave employees take.

“Interventions to reduce sick leave due to mental disorders that focus on improving the psychosocial work environment, especially reducing high psychosocial job demands, may prove effective,” the study authors wrote.

The findings were published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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