Lifestyle & Belief

Leaders suffer from less stress than their subordinates, new study finds


A new study found that stress levels are rising, particularly in young people and women.


Rich Schultz

Leaders may get power and notoriety, but they also suffer from more stress and die earlier...right?

New studies out of Stanford and Harvard indicate that this conventional wisdom may not actually be true. Although it does help lowly underlings feel a bit better about their lives, so hey, there's that! 

Read more from GlobalPost: Work stress linked to increased risk of heart attack, says study

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that although leaders do have more responsibility, they also appear to suffer lower levels of stress than those that report to them. 

The researchers tested the stress hormone (cortisol) levels of people in high-level leadership positions, including military generals and political leaders.

Study co-author James Gross of Stanford added, in an ABC News interview, that the study measured perceived levels of stress, which could mean that people who feel less stressed advance faster through the ranks than their more neurotic counterparts. 

Oh, and stress and depression could potentially shrink your brain. That too. 

Read more from GlobalPost: Can stress and depression shrink your brain?

It turns out that feeling as if you have some agency in your life—even when your day to day life isn't exactly a frolic through the posies—is rather preferable to feeling as if you're being pushed along by the winds of chance. Or the superior power of your boss. 

Even worse news for you lowly corporate cog-in-the-machine-types: work stress is positively linked with heart disease, according to a British study released earlier this month.

Further, this deadly "job-strain" is linked more with menial jobs than with professional careers. Of course. 

Perhaps it really is good to the king.