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Stressed out by an abusive boss? Get him to work out

January 28, 2012
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mean bossAbusive bosses who'd like to stop stressing out their subordinates should exercise more. That's the finding of a new study reported in the latest issue of Journal of Business and Psychology. After examining the relationships between nearly 100 workers and their direct supervisors, researchers concluded that workers did feel stressed out by bosses who are themselves stressed out.

"While the current economic conditions and a host of other trying workplace factors mean that supervisors are likely to experience workplace stress, we found evidence that they do not necessarily have to transfer these frustrations onto those they supervise," said the report's authors, James P. Burton, Jenny M. Hoobler and Melinda L. Scheuer. "Our study supports a link between supervisor stress and employee perceptions of abusive supervision, but this is a link that can be loosened if supervisors engage in moderate levels of physical exercise."

While several previous studies have been done on abusive supervision, this is the first that focuses on how how exercise can buffer the relationship between supervisor stress and employee perceptions of abusive supervision.

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