How to beat stress in the workplace

Stress in the workplace can have a more dangerous impact on employee heath than employers realize, according to research presented yesterday at the annual conference of the American Psychological Association.

Ohio State University researchers found that stress negatively affects immune responses and the time it takes the body to heal itself. Long-term stress can increase the risk of obesity, insomnia, digestive problems, heart disease, depression, memory impairment and physical illness.

Stress on the job is one of the top reasons why workers are unhealthy, according to a new poll by work/life experts at LifeCare. The poll revealed that the top factors having the most negative impact on employee health are:
  • Lack of exercise (24%)
  • Stress about finances (22%)
  • Stress in personal/family life (20%)
  • Stress on the job (14%)
  • Lack of sleep (8%)
Not only is stress harmful to employee health, it hurts business in the form of increased job turnover. The top reason why people quit is because of excessive stress, according to a Watson Wyatt study.

Promote employee wellness and reduce job turnover with the following stress-beating tips:

  • Make to-do lists. Along with day-to-day tasks, write down your long-term career goals and the small steps you can take to reach them. Thinking long-term will help you get through mundane, daily tasks by knowing you’re going somewhere.
  • Take a break. Stretch, go for a walk or grab a coffee whenever you start to feel stressed out. Taking short breaks throughout the day can help reduce stress and improve productivity.
  • Get organized. A cluttered desk is a stressful desk. An organized desk will help you find things faster, feel less stressed and be more efficient.
  • Have a laugh. Laughter is a known stress reliever, so lighten up and smile more. Talk to a friendly coworker or call a family member to make you day more enjoyable.
  • Sleep better. Make a conscious effort to get more sleep at night. Along with reducing stress at work, a good night’s sleep will give you more energy and increase your concentration.
  • Squeeze something. Keep a fun squeeze toy, like Dilbert below, on your desk for those times you need a little stress relief. Reduce built-up tension and squeeze the stress away.


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