Stress can lead to anxiety and depression, which is the second largest health concern after cardiovascular disease. Yet employers often underestimate the physical impact stress has on a person’s health. It can cause or exacerbate cardiovascular disease, ulcers, colitis, anxiety and depression, as well as impairing the immune system. This ultimately effects company productivity, as 35% of all work related ill health cases and 43% of all working days lost to ill health are caused by stress(2).
Our bodies are designed to cope with short bursts of stress, it becomes incredibly efficient, fuel supply to the organs is increased and activities such as digestion, urination and reproduction are decreased. However, when stress starts to become prolonged our bodies start to work less efficiently, levels of cortisol increase, muscles waste, the immune system can become suppressed, ulceration of the gut may occur and pancreatic beta cells could fail. In short people become ill!
It estimated that stress costs the UK economy approx. £6.5bn per year(3), yet many companies fail to realise looking after employee’s health can benefit the company’s business health by reducing absenteeism and sickness or increasing motivation and productivity.
Work related stress can not only impact an individual but groups of employees and can cause:
- Conflict and disputes
- Increased staff turnover
- Increased sickness absence
- Reports of stress
- Difficulty attracting new staff
- Poor performance
- Customer dissatisfaction and complaints
So help your colleagues identify the signs and symptoms of stress and understand how to manage this before it becomes a problem to their health.
- Talk about the problem
- Learn to relax
- Relaxed breathing
- Stay hydrated
- Eat for wellbeing
- Master your time
- Say NO