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Work Stress, Effects Of Work Stress On Mental And Physical Health

3019 words - 12 pages

1.0 IntroductionThroughout the eighties and into the nineties, work stress have continued to rise dramatically in organizations across North America. The eighties saw employees stressing out from working in a rapidly growing economy. During the nineties, beginning from the recession of 1992 till present day, employees are stressed by their own job insecurities in the face of massive downsizing and restructuring of organizations in order to be competitive on the global stage. Work stress is a very extensive topic ranging from research on the sources of stress, the effects of stress, to ways on managing and reducing stress. This report will focus first on the evidence for the harmful effects of stress at work, both mentally and physically. The last section will briefly explain why management should be concerned with rising employee stress and will describe some actions management can take to alleviate work stress.2.0 Harmful Effects of StressMost research studies indicate a high correlation between stress and illness. According to authorities in the United States and Great Britain, as much as 70% of patients that are treated by general practitioners are suffering from symptoms originating from stress . Everyone experiences stress, however, each person responds to stress very differently. Their response is dependent on how each person reacts to stress emotionally, mentally, and physically. There are, however, common effects of stress for most people on the physical and mental body.2.1 Physical EffectsThe researcher Blyth in 1973 identified a list of diseases which have a fairly high causal relationships with stress. His evidence was obtained through interviews with medical experts, review of reports by the World Health Organization and consultations with the J.R. Geigy Pharmaceutical Company. The following is a list of some of the illnesses Blyth had identified :1. Hypertension2. Coronary thrombosis3. Hay fever and other allergies4. Migraine headaches5. Intense itching6. Asthma7. Peptic ulcers8. Constipation 9. Rheumatoid arthritis10. Colitis11. Menstrual difficulties12. Nervous dyspepsia 13. Overactive thyroid gland14. Skin disorders15. Diabetes mellitus16. TuberculosisResearch conducted by Woolfolk and Richardson in 1978 further confirmed Blyth's list that hypertension, coronary disease, infections, and ulcers are highly related to the amount of prolonged stress an employee is subjected to. Evidence for a causal relationship between hypertension and stress was seen in a study of air traffic controllers. The work stress is enormous for this occupation due to the high responsibility for the safety of others that people is this field must bear. This study noted that air traffic controllers experiences a hypertension rate approximately 5 times greater than other comparable occupational groups .Only in recent studies was stress linked to coronary disease. As the majority of heart attacks are caused by fatty substances adhering to the artery walls...

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