Having comrades at work can be a real lifesaver. To explore the link between job stress and heart disease, Swedish researchers electronically monitored the heartbeats of 148 working men and women, ages 23 to 61, throughout one day. The participants, who included doctors, teachers, musicians, police officers, train engineers, prison personnel and sawmill workers, also filled out a questionnaire about their work environment. Those who reported good social support on the job (friendly relations with co-workers and supervisors; a pleasant atmosphere of cooperation; few conflicts or arguments) had significantly lower heart rates – not just during working hours but at home as well, even while asleep – than did those who said they worked in chilly conditions. “The inability to unwind after work has been found to be a common effect of stress at work,” the researchers say. Because it’s hard to let go of a whole day’s worth of tension, the effect “may be so strong that even the ability to relax during sleep is influenced.” Accelerated heart rate, often a sign of stress, has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, they note.