If you’ve just been promoted at work, it’s not just your bank balance that will look healthier – your heart could benefit too.

According to researchers from the University College London (UCL) and the University of California, people with better promotion prospects in the workplace are 20% less likely to develop heart disease than those who show few signs of professional development.

promotion heart health

During the study, researchers looked at the employment histories of nearly 5,000 Whitehall civil servants over a 15-year period (from 1985 to 1999).

Researchers discovered that those with double the promotion rate had a lower chance of being diagnosed with heart disease in the future, compared to employees stuck in dead-end jobs.

The study concluded that being successful is good for a person’s health.

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Or as researcher Sir Michael Marmot, from UCL puts it: “Favourable shocks can positively impact health,” reports the Telegraph.

"Put together with a large body of other literature there is little question that, for individuals, achieving higher socioeconomic position is good for health.

“Promotion is one mechanism of upward social mobility. Upward social mobility is good for health,” adds Marmot.

The results were published in the Economic Journal.

If a promotion isn't on the cards for you just yet, see how you can eat your way to a healthier heart...

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  • Foods That Ward Off Heart Disease

    Eat yourself to a healthy heart with these cardiovascular-friendly foods.

  • Oats

    Oats contain beta glucan, a soluble fibre that helps reduce cholesterol levels, especially LDL (bad cholesterol), which damage the heart.

  • Green Leafy Vegetables

    Green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek, pak choy, radish leaves, lettuce are known to reduce the risk of heart disease as they are rich sources of folic acid, magnesium, calcium and potassium - the essential minerals for keeping the heart functioning properly. Studies have shown that one daily serving of green leafy vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease by 11%.

  • Tofu

    Soy is a healthy protein alternative to red meat, as it has a low saturated fat content, no cholesterol and even increases your HDL 'good' cholesterol, which is good news for your heart.

  • Tomato

    Regular consumption of tomatoes is known to reduce the risk of heart disease, as they contain a rich source of vitamin K, which help prevent hemorrhages.

  • Wholegrains

    Wholegrains contain high levels of vitamin E, iron, magnesium and a host of anti-oxidants, which are all beneficial to the heart as they help reduce blood pressure.

  • Apples

    Apples contain guercetin, a photochemical containing anti-inflammatory properties, vital for keeping blood clots at bay, which can lead to heart attacks.

  • Almonds

    Almonds, when eaten in moderation, are known to lower cholesterol levels as they contain monosaturate fats (the 'good' fats), as well as vitamin B17, vitamin E and minerals like magnesium, iron and zinc.

  • Red Wine

    Red wine (when drank in moderation) can be good for the heart as it contains a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol, which helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces "bad" cholesterol and prevents blood clots.