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Liking your co-workers could help you live longer: Study

If you don’t like the people working around you, it could be harmful to your health.

New research published by the American Psychological Association found workers who have a good peer support system in the workplace live longer than those who don’t.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University followed 820 adults for 20 years — 1988 to 2008. The workers came from some of Israel’s largest firms in finance, insurance, public utilities, health care and manufacturing. They worked an average of 8.8 hours a day. One third of the group were women – 80% of the women were married with children, and 45% had at least 12 years of formal education.

Those in the 38-43 age bracket were most affected by social support at work, the researchers found.

“Peer social support, which could represent how well a participant is socially integrated in his or her employment context, is a potent predictor of the risk of all causes of mortality,” the researchers wrote.

Also, men who felt like they had control and decision authority at work also experienced a “protective effect,” according to the study, published in the May issue of the APA journal Health Psychology. However, having control and the authority to make decisions increased the risk of mortality among women in the study.