A quote by Friedrich Nietzsche, “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger,” may soon be under attack. Results from the 2010 Stress in America survey conducted by the American Psychological Association’s (APA) shows that stress is becoming a dangerous public health and wellness concern.
The online survey conducted by Harris Interactive in August 2010, clearly demonstrates that Americans are overstressed and lack the necessary skills to handle stress in a healthy manner and/or make necessary lifestyle changes to counteract their stress. To add to the alarm, the survey finds that children are also experiencing unhealthy levels of stress.
This news is of concern to employers. With skyrocketing healthcare costs in part due to employee health issues, employers need to be aware that stress is linked to a number of chronic illnesses, including: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. All these illnesses contribute to employee absenteeism and a reduction in employee productivity.
This stress epidemic is seen in all demographics and being informed is part of the battle tactics employers will need.
“America is at a critical crossroads when it comes to stress and our health,” said psychologist Norman B. Anderson, Ph.D., APA’s chief executive officer and executive vice president.” He adds, “Stress is hurting our physical and emotional health and contributing to some of the leading causes of death in this country.”
Employers can help address this potential public health crisis by initiating comprehensive wellness programs. These programs can help provide employees with the needed skills and tools to create a healthier lifestyle and handle stress in an effective manner.