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Workplace stress: A 21st century health epidemic

The World Health Organisation has classified stress as the “health epidemic of the 21st century.” With more and more of the world’s population suffering from stress-related conditions, it’s clear that we must all be more proactive in fighting stress.   

One major area for improvement is the workplace. Today’s employees are under more pressure than ever, with 65% of people citing work as the top source of stress in their lives. The toxic combination of excessive workloads, long hours and the “always on” work culture means that many workers face a dangerous level of stress.

In addition to damaging performance, stress can also have a negative effect on mental health and increase the risk of depression, anxiety and burnout. It can also extend beyond the workplace and into our personal lives, with many people taking out their stress on friends, children, or significant others.

Not only this, but stress can also take a toll on physical health. In fact, one study revealed that up to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are caused by stress. It can often cause workers to have erratic eating habits and this is particularly unhealthy when combined with the inactivity brought about by the now mostly sedentary working day.

So how can you avoid burnout at work?

Studies have shown that good nutrition and exercise can go a long way in building resilience against stress. Exercise in particular is a great way to relieve stress. Many experts recommend incorporating more exercise into the working day. When feeling anxious, simply get up and move to release some stress-relieving endorphins. Another good idea is to aim to go for a walk during lunch breaks.

If you would like to find out more about workplace stress, take a look at the infographic below from Ayers Management.

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