Job Stress and Health
Job Stress sets off an alarm in the brain, which responds by preparing U1e body for defensive action. The nervous system aroused and hormones released to sharpen the senses, quicken the pulse, deepen respiration, and tense the muscles. This response (sometimes called the fight or flight response) is important because it helps us defend against threatening situations. This response is pre-programmed biologically. Everyone responds in much the same way regardless of whether the stressful situation is at work or home.
Short lived or infrequent episodes of stress pose little risk. But when stressful situations go unresolved, the body is kept in a constant state of activation, which increase the rate of wear and tear to biological systems. Ultimately, fatigue or damage results, ant the ability of the body to repair and defend itself can become seriously compromised. Asa result, the risk of injury or disease escalates.
In the past 20 years, many studies have looked at the relationship between in stress and a variety of ailments, Mood and sleep disturbances, upset stomach and headache, and disturbed relationship” with family and friends Examples of stress related problems that are quick to develop and commonly seen in these studies. These early signs of job stress arc usually easy to recognize. But the effects of job stress on chronic diseases arc more difficult to see because chronic diseases take a long time develop and can be influenced by many factors other them stress. Nonetheless, evidence is rapidly accumulating to suggest that stress plays an important role in several types of chronic health problems-especially cardiovascular disease, muscular skeletal disorders and psychological disorders.
What are the Early Warning Signs of Job Stress?
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Short temper
- Upset stomach
- Job dissatisfaction
- Low morale.
Stress, Health, and Productivity
Some employers as same that stressful working conditions are a necessary evil that companies must turn up the pressure on workers and set aside health concerns to remain productive and profitable in today’s economy. But research findings challenge this belief. Studies show that stressful working conditions actually associated with increased absenteeism, tardiness and intentions by workers to quit their jobs-all of which have negative effect on the bottom line.
Recent studies of so-called health organizations suggest that policies benefiting worker health also benefit the bottom line. A healthy organization defined as one that has low rates of illness, injury and disability in its workforce and also competitive in the marketplace. NIOH research has identified organizational characteristics associated with both health, low-stress work and high levels of productivity.
Examples of these characteristics include the following:
- Recognition of employees for good work performance.
- Opportunities for career development.
- An organizational culture that values the individual worker.
- Management actions that are consistent with organizational values.