Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress

Transcript of the Feature ‘Health Matters’ on Radio X from 28 April 2014

I’m Tom Meyers Stress coach and welcome to this weeks episode of Health Matters.

On the 15th of April The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work launched the campaign ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress’

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As a stress coach and regular speaker in companies about ‘Understanding and Managing Stress’ I didn’t want to let this campaign pass by unnoticed and because I agree with the agencies statement that safety and health at work is everyone’s concern. It’s good for you and It’s good for business.

Work-related stress is – after back and neck pain – the second most frequently reported work-related health problem in Europe – and around half of workers consider work-stress it to be common in their workplace?

50 to 60% of all lost working days can be contributed to work related stress and those absences tend to be longer that those arising from other causes.

The most common causes of work-related stress are job reorganisation or job insecurity, working long hours or excessive workload and being bullied or harassed at work.

Other causes of work-related stress are:

conflicting demands,

ineffective communication,

lack of clarity over roles,

mismatch between job demands and competence,

lack of involvement in decision making,

lack of support, poor interpersonal relationships

and unhealthy work-life balance.

In the European agencies poll also determined that 4 in 10 workers think that stress is not handled well in their workplace.

Total cost to companies and the social security system … hundreds of billions… and that’s a lot of money.

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So how do you recognise that you’re suffering from work-related stress? Well lets look at the symptoms which can be divided in 4 categories:

Emotional changes including anxiety, fatigue and poor relationships with colleagues

Behavioural changes these can be poor timekeeping, carelessness, aggressiveness

Cognitive issues like difficulties in concentration or making decisions, reduced  creativity and productivity.

Physical signs are recurrent neck, back or shoulder pain, frequent colds or spells of flu, stomach or bowel problems and high blood pressure..

And if work-related stress isn’t managed properly it can eventually lead to burn-out and depression.

Although work-related stress is described as – not an individuals fault but an organisational issue – it needs to be tackled from both ends.

If you leave it all for your boss to sort out you might be in for a long wait. In Health Matters I address insights about health and wellbeing and share information what you can do to help yourself to stay healthy and happy.

Unlike what you might expect but happiness and health do not just happen… they are learned skills.

For more information about the Healthy Workplace Manages Stress campaign go to healthy-workplaces.eu

I’m Tom Meyers health coach and contributor of though to a healthier way of living.

If you like to know more about my consultation work and stress management presentations then visit the website tommeyers.be

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