On this page you can find useful and interesting information relating to Stress.
The number of people suffering with stress, anxiety and depression are increasing year by year. It results in sleep problems, loosing temper easily and an increased number of suicides. An initiative in Germany lobbies new regulations to limit stress experienced at work. The regulations are planned focusing on work organisation, working time and employees influence into the way work is being conducted. The main obstacles in treatment is long waiting times and late acknowledgement of the symptoms. Occupational health physicians are highly trained to support identification of stressors and to guide when seeking solutions as well as advising patients on options moving forward.
A recent survey conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Association OSHA found 52% of employees are experiencing work related stress. A further 40% think their employer is not handling stress issues very well. About 40% of employers feel psychological risks are more difficult to manage than traditional occupational health and safety risks.
Business and Health Consultancy has medical practitioners experienced in advising employees and businesses on the best strategies.
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Research by the Business Environment found 29% of workers feel stressed at work. 21% stated taking work home at least once or twice a week.
Short bursts of stressful periods are not harmful to health; however, prolonged exposure to stressful situations is known to show negative impact on health. Well known problems are of the heart and blood vessels, raised blood pressure with increased risk of a stroke or heart attacks. Other problems are sleeping difficulties leading to sleep deprivation, concentration and memory problems and depression.
Drug and alcohol use is known to be increased in employees experiencing stress as a misguided coping strategy. 3% of employees state having taken up or increased smoking and 6% having stated to use alcohol.
Healthier ways to cope with stress are going for a walk, getting fresh air, sunshine and speaking with family and friends. Physical activities like boxing in a gym can provide an outlet for aggression preventing outbursts in inadequate situations.
Employers can support employees experiencing stress at work by introducing a culture providing times to switch off and avoiding 24/7 instant availability and offering support.
As an employee in the early stages of stress is often in denial regarding the problem, to help cope, it might be worthwhile arranging a private consultation with occupational health offering the employee an opportunity to discuss their situation, feelings and problems confidentially.
The American College of Cardiology published a study demonstrating with the time change from winter to summer time the heart attack rate on the following Monday is increased by 25%. When the clock changes from summer to winter time it results in a lowering of the heart attack rate on the following Monday by 21%. The effects of the time change seem to level to normal rates over the period over a week.
According to a German survey about 25% of people suffer health wise due to the time change and would prefer having the same length of day throughout the year. It has been suggested that the reduced sleep is causing stress impacting on the cardiac risk.
An American study found that women experiencing high stress level are at double the risk of not falling pregnant (this means they want to get pregnant but they don't). Stress levels were tested by using a biological marker in the saliva rather than self reported stress levels. These findings confirm previous observations in the UK with women with high biological stress makers in the saliva being at increased risk of not being able to fall pregnant.
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