Stress is not a foreign concept in the workplace; neither is sitting at a desk for several hours at a time or having back-to-back meetings throughout the day. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed throughout the workday, you aren’t the only one feeling that way. The American Institute of Stress estimates that 83 percent of US workers suffer from work related stress.
While acute, short-term stress, such as stress surrounding a big presentation or a time crunch on a project, can help you stay focused, workplace stress that continues for extended periods of time takes a bigger toll on your overall health. Long term stress can make you more susceptible to illness and increase your risk for certain health conditions. Some things that contribute to chronic workplace stress are working long hours, poor communication, low levels of recognition and reward, lack of role clarity, high mental task demands, physical inactivity, poor workstation ergonomics and physical work environment. One study looking at how job stress affects mental and physical health found that high-stress work environments were linked to increased trips to the doctor. The last thing you want to add to an already booked schedule is increased trips to the doctor for health issues related to stress.
By taking steps to reduce stress, you can reduce your out-of-pocket healthcare costs, increase productivity, improve mood, increase sleep quality, improve your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers and improve mobility and flexibility.