Americans are no stranger to workplace stress — and unfortunately, 90 percent of doctor’s office visits are associated with stress. Stress plays a significant role in a wide range of health problems, including heart issues, depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure.
Some of the major factors associated with workplace stress include workload, work-life balance, and job security. Whether your workplace is creating feelings of anxiety, placing strain on your relationships, or is having a negative impact on your health, it’s important to take proactive action.
Americans Feel Stressed at Work — And It’s a Major Health Problem
Two key reports showcase the growing issues associated with workplace stress and unless preventative measures are taken, workplace stress will continue to wreak havoc on public health.
The first report, Stress at Work, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that:
- 40 percent of workers feel “very or extremely” stressed at work
- 26 percent of workers reported that they are “often or very often burned out or stress by their work”
- 25 percent of employees view their job as the number one stressor in their life
- Issues are work are more strongly associated with health issues and complaints than any other stressor — more so than family or financial issues
In the second report, Attitudes in the American Workplace VII, it was found that:
- 80 percent of workers experience stress at work and nearly 50 percent say they need help to learn how to better manage stress
- 35 percent of workers say that their jobs are harming their emotional or physical health
- 42 percent say that the pressures of their job interfere with their personal relationships
- 50 percent of workers say that their workload is more demanding than the year prior
Stress in America Affects Every Aspect of People’s Lives
Money and work continue to be the leading causes of stress for three-quarters of Americans. Nearly half of all Americans report that stress has a negative impact on both their professional and personal lives. However, this is just the beginning. Stress among Americans continues to affect not just work, but also personal relationships, eating habits, and sleep patterns.
Workplace Stress Is Normal, but That Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Make Positive Changes
As an employee, it’s important to better understand what it is that’s causing your stress. That way, you can address your personal needs. Although each case is unique, some of the ways to decrease stress include:
- Forming positive relationships — a close friend at work can make all the difference when you’re feeling overwhelmed
- Boosting your mood and reduce stress by exercising more often
- Avoiding stress eating, consuming more nutrient-dense foods
- Getting enough sleep — a lack of sleep will inhibit your ability to deal with stress
- Getting organized and prioritizing your life, especially in terms of your goals
If you’re an employer, it’s important to understand the impact that workplace stress has on productivity, morale, and overall profit. According to the Harvard Gazette, workplace stress costs U.S. businesses $30 billion a year in lost workdays. That is why you must:
- Encourage open communication
- Offer mental and physical health benefits
- Incorporate health-boosting activities, such as a monthly meditation class
- Encourage breaks
- Consider flexible work schedules
For more information on how you can combat stress, please refer to the following: