Stress is that five letter word that affects many Americans on a daily basis, particularly during major events such as a new baby, new home, new job, marriage or divorce. It is no wonder that the United Nations’ Labor Organization has defined workplace stress as a “global epidemic.” The American Physiological Association (ACA) survey on work related stress discovered 62 percent of Americans hold work as a significant impact on stress levels and 52 percent of workers consider work more stressful than home and five other studies done by four separate sources revealed similar results.
Stress is a big word with a vast meaning. Even when positive experiences happen, a level of stress is experienced. All working environments have stressors. Occupational stress occurs because the demands of work and home have increased over the years; it is easy to carry work home and home into work. Employees work more now than they did almost 25 years ago and workloads are much bigger. The price many Charlotte worker’s pay to carry the extra load of stress can be low immune systems, depression, anxiety, and sometimes panic attacks; heart attacks and strokes, excessive weight gain or weight loss and post dramatic stress disorder to name a few.
The poor health of workers’ affect Charlotte companies by decreasing productivity, increasing absenteeism, medical and health-care costs, and can create a lack of employee commitment and loyalty. Currently 75-90% of healthcare visits are stress-related and 60% of lost workdays are the result of stressed out employees. These are large numbers, which means most workers suffer from stress and learning how to cope and reduce stress is imperative to regain good health and well-being.
Combat stress by having a solid support system. This can be family, friends, and an outside source, such as an organization or a combination of these. It is important to analyze the situation and identify what is causing the stress. Stress cannot be managed until the root cause is known. There are many places and resources around Charlotte that can help stressed-out workers rejuvenate and spend quality time with loved ones such as doing something that makes them smile and feels good; something that they don’t get to enjoy on a regular basis. Click this link for family friendly places around Charlotte and local businesses.
Charlotte businesses can help combat stress in the workforce by implementing a wellness program that engages employees, incorporate work-family programs, offer flexible work week and wellness incentive programs; communicate what the organization offers, provide health club discounts to employees and encourage physical fitness or offer lunch-learns.
Wellness programs do not have to be expensive; a little can go a long way by working with the right wellness company, having management teams’ support and are pro-active in developing a wellness culture within the company. Successful companies start with healthier employees!
For more information on work-site wellness programs and local services and resources, visit www.greenelementwellness.com.
Tara Raj, CPC, ACC
Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant