Working long hours in a high-stress setting can be detrimental to our mental and physical well-being. More and more individuals are working high-intensity occupations that require 40+ hours per week, which means we are devoting less time and effort to self-care.
While, there is no argument that having a productive job is essential for life and improves our overall attitude toward life, there is a significant amount of stress from the workplace that can pose a threat to our health. A number of recent surveys have concluded that many workers report feeling stressed at work, which has a negative impact on their performance and health.
Stress levels vary between professions and population groups. Some workers are at a higher risk of stress than others. Younger workers, women, and those in lower-skilled positions, according to studies, are the most vulnerable to work-related stress and its repercussions.
What is the impact work-related stress?
Workplace stress not only impacts the employee, but it also has a negative impact on the company's performance. The effects of job-related strain are evident in workers' physical health, mental health, and their behavior.
There are two types of workplace stressors: physical and mental. Noise, poor lighting, a lousy office or work arrangement, and ergonomic problems including suboptimal working postures are all physical stressors.
The impact of stress on cardiovascular disease has been well established. Studies have shown that workplace stress is a strong risk factor for preludes to cardiovascular disease (obesity, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure) and of adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke.
There is also a growing body of evidence that work-related stress increases one's risk of diabetes. Other physical health problems linked to workplace stress include immune deficiency disorders, musculoskeletal disorders including chronic back pain, and gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
With these attendant health effects, workplace stress reduces employee productivity, increases the number of days taken off work for doctor visits, and increases healthcare costs incurred by employers. Workplace stress is also linked to higher accident and injury rates and higher turnover rates, both of which increase administrative costs.
Top steps to reduce work-related stress
Workplace stress may be avoided, and recognizing possible sources of stress for employees is the first step toward managing them.
The key is to introduce interventions that involve proactive measures to prevent stress by removing or reducing potential stressors. These interventions aim at improving worker's ability to cope with stress and detect stress-induced symptoms early.
- Redesigning the work environment
- Making sure you take adequate breaks
- Allow for flexible hours and remote working
- Increasing time and resources for completing specific job tasks
- Matching job description with employee skills and qualifications
- Creating clear promotion and reward pathways to avoid burnout
- Eliminating physical hazards
- Substituting with safer equipment and technology
- Promoting employee fitness
Stress can't be completely avoided, but you can help alleviate it when it arrives. Ensure your employees have a place where they can take a break avenues to voice their concerns.
Preventing Work-Related Stress through Physiotherapy Ergonomics
Preventing Work-Related Stress through corrective Physiotherapy Ergonomics is focused on altering the ways workers perceive and respond to stressors.
Physiotherapy suggests providing treatment, compensation plans, rehabilitation programs, and return to work programs for affected workers. Some preventive measures include:
1. Learn correct posture that you should work in, so that it does not cause harm to their spine, shoulders, elbows or wrists. Encourage a neutral position with proper body alignment to decrease the strain and impact on joints.
2. Identify tasks that imply excessive force and think of ways to make improvisations
3. Save muscles from overexertion by keeping everything within easy reach
4. Do most of the work at elbow height except for heavier work. For precision work or visually intense work, it is best done above elbow height.
5. Holding the same position for a long period is known as static load. It creates fatigue and discomfort and can interfere with work. Try using an extender for tools when working overhead to minimize static load.
6. The human body needs to be exercised and stretched. Alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day is ideal. Make sure to give yourself breaks when sitting in the same position for extended periods of time.
7. To decrease eye strain and glare problems, make sure your workspace is well lit. Also be aware of how long you stare at a computer screen during the day.
Takeaway: Physiotherapy and Ergonomics can help reduce work related pain, improve posture and prevent injuries.
Workplace stress is a silent, and oft-neglected, factor which impairs employee health and productivity. It not only affects the workers but also contributes significantly to a decline in a company's overall success. Employers should begin to tackle this worrisome concern to create a healthier, safer, and more productive work atmosphere.
Schedule an appointment with Caring Hands Physiotherapy today.