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Workplace Stress Leads To Long-Term Health Impact, Expert Weighs In

Workplace stress can be caused due to increased work pressure, raising your stress hormone levels, which can impact your immune system.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: May 05, 2023 16:39 IST
Workplace Stress Leads To Long-Term Health Impact, Expert Weighs In

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Workplace stress usually arises when there is an increased pressure at the workplace that the employee is unable to cope with. Especially with the target-focused work culture, the employees use more of their physiological strength to meet deadlines. This often results in a spike in stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenalin. When this goes on for a longer period, the employee often goes into burnout syndrome. Dr Manoj Kutteri, Medical Director and CEO - Atmantan Wellness Centre explains how workplace stress leads to long health impacts, which can even result in the development of chronic diseases.

Factors Leading to Workplace Stress

"Long working hours, unreasonable deadlines, job insecurity, conflicts with coworkers or bosses, and a lack of decision-making authority are some examples of workplace stressors," Dr Kutteri added. 

He said, "Other factors that can lead to long-term stress include excessive weight gain, poor sleep, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and skin problems."

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Impact of Workplace Stress

Dr Kutteri said, "Prolonged exposure to stress hormones, such as cortisol or adrenalin, can also negatively affect your immune system and make you vulnerable to illnesses, such as heart disease and high blood pressure."  

He added that stress also leads to psychological problems, such as memory and cognitive decline, lack of concentration, and poor decision-making. When a person is exposed to chronic stress (long-term stress exposure), it can also affect their personality and behaviour and result in absenteeism from work.

Coping Workplace Stress

As per Dr Kutteri, "A business can flourish if they have a team of healthy employees having good mental health." He added, "Various employee engagement programs can benefit the organisation to bring out healthy individuals and prevent long-term stress outcomes among employees. This can also help reduce health costs, absenteeism at the workplace, improved productivity, and overall well-being of the team." Apart from this, here's how you can cope with workplace stress.

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Identify Stress

We react differently when similar stimuli are coming to us. Thus, we must sense and note our triggers to deal with the problem at large. This helps us pinpoint the issue, leading to a more practical, wholesome, and healthy resolution to the problem.

Stay Active

Periodically implement various workplace activities for the employees to be more active and venture into different ways of staying fit. Dr Kutteri mentioned, "One such excellent workout and stressbuster is yoga. It involves meditative practices that help you stay fit. It not only de-stresses you but also increases your focus and efficiency."

Take a Break from the Screen

Social separation is no more a necessity, said Dr Kutteri. "Take a break from the screen and engage in productive talks with coworkers. This will help manage the stress and strains caused to our eyes, other sensory organs, and the brain."

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Play with Your Passion

In our daily schedules, to meet deadlines and satisfy clients, we get less time for ourselves and nurture our hobbies and passion. Dr Kutteri added, "Hobbies are an extension of an individual’s personality and we should re-develop them or discover entirely new ones! You should indulge in activities that help you connect back with yourself and diminish the stress."

Sleep Tight, Eat Well

In the current era, due to changed work habits and increased work-from-home culture, our sleep has taken a toll on us. This is because our body needs time to adapt to the changes in our daily cycle. Dr Kutteri added that deeper sleep is more important than a longer one, and as much as your body needs rest, it also needs recovery, which you can do by eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals.

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