Is Work Killing You

By Lavonne Kroeker, PHEc

Lately I’ve been reading this book, and it has given me a lot of food for thought.  I found it on the new acquisitions shelf at my local library and it was published in 2013 so it gives a summary of what work is like for many people today.  Written by a doctor who has worked with many in his practice who have been on the verge of burnout or recovering from the same, it provides biological and psychological background for the overload we sometimes feel in our work lives.

I also appreciated the practicality of the book – small changes that one can implement to make work more manageable.  Sometimes when one is caught up in a workaholic or toxic work culture, it takes an outside perspective to show that it is okay to shut off, truly be on vacation or to ignore a phone call during the evening.  Not only is it okay, Dr. Posen would say it is necessary for our health and survival.

Having gone through stages in my career where my work-life balance felt off-kilter, I remember a colleague telling me that each of us has our own definition of work-life balance.  And I think that’s true – just like one family or individual may need lots of social time to feel energized while others tend to be homebodies, each of us has different factors in our lives that impact our responses to work pressures and overload.

I haven’t finished the book yet so I’m sure there are a few more nuggets left to discover but I did find this infographic that provides more food for thought on the topic.  Here’s to better health and better balance for all of us!



As a professional home economist, Lavonne Kroeker has worked in a wide variety of settings – an adult learning centre, child welfare, private industry and since 2007, as a Rural Leadership Specialist with Mantioba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.  Her job involves “creating leaders” in rural communities – whether its supporting volunteer 4-H leaders, chairing a Safety Day committee, developing programming for women in business or organizing training for farm women, there is never a dull day!  Besides her day job, Lavonne enjoys volleyball, biking, creative pursuits and almost any outdoor activity!