Workplace deaths often conjure images of heavy machinery and construction sites — not desk jobs. Rightfully so, too: The United States Department of Labor reported an average of 11 Americans die on the job every single day either from transportation incidents, violence in the workplace, or contact with objects and equipment. Another 50,000 Americans die annually from illnesses they contracted on the job, like exposure to harmful substances. But, if workplace deaths did prompt you to think of those bouts of email-related stress and prolonged sitting, you're not entirely wrong.

In Japan, employees frequently die from overwork. This happens so often, insurance companies compensated over 800 families for it in 2012. Karoshi is the Japanese word for “death from overwork,” and The Atlantic reported it’s a leading cause of death despite the thought Japanese people work fewer hours per year than Americans (Japan's figure doesn’t account for overtime). The Atlantic also reported that in China, an estimated 1,600 people die each year from overwork, with workplace deaths taking place in South Korea, Indonesia, and the UK, too.

Four-hundred thousand employees already contract illnesses anually in the American workplace, so is death by overwork on the horizon, too? It’s not a ridiculous idea when you consider the pressure today’s business culture puts on employees to stay connected. Email acts as a catalyst for this in spite of the fact email was first invented to improve communication and workflow. Instead, Americans have gotten to a point where they’re constantly refreshing their inbox, aggregating stress levels in the process. What’s worse is that this pressure to always be available to fellow employees and managers discourages employees (with access to paid time off) from taking time off before coming up with an excuse. Let us remind you that a proper day of hooky can do wonders for stress, creativity, and overall mental health.

There’s also the physical impact chronic stress has on a person’s body. According to the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institute of Health, “your immunity is lowered and your digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems stop working normally.” If not relieved, this level of stress increases risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression. So in this respect, when you consider the more than 80 percent of American workers who admitted to being stressed out, workplace deaths aren’t farfetched.

What’s that? You’re the 20, stress-free percent? Well, do you work at a standing desk? Because chronic sitting is also a thing in America — and it’s scientifically proven to alter your DNA, thus shorten your life span. One study found sedentary adults had shorter telomeres, which are the buffers at the ends of chromosomes that stop them from fraying and clumping together. Participants who spent less time sitting had longer telomeres and a higher chance of living longer. Officially, Americans know this as "sitting disease." In addition to longevity, prolonged sitting negatively impacts cancer and obesity risk, chronic conditions, and mental health.

This is all pretty convincing to never punch that card again, but know this: The National Safety Council found it's highly unlikely you'll die on the job. The number of incidences has actually improved over the years, going from 4.2 workers per 100,000 to 3.2 per 100,000. Be careful when commuting and/or operating heavy machinery, play hooky, take walks to stretch your legs, and you'll be set.