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Why work-related stress is more serious than you may think

At times, everyone experiences feelings most readily described as being stressed out. In certain situations, feeling stressed out is not only appropriate, but may be beneficial in helping an individual take action to resolve the problems or issues that are contributing to his or her feelings of anxiety, uneasiness and general angst. In other cases, stress and its effects can be mentally, emotionally and physically damaging. This is often particularly true when an individual experiences prolonged or repeated periods of stress.

When stress is caused by and tied to an individual's work and/or workplace, the damaging effects are often varied and significant. A recent survey of some 1,200 workers by meQuilbrium should serve as a wake-up call for both employees and employers about just how damaging work-related stress can be to one's overall health and quality of life.

When asked about their current and past jobs, 31 percent of survey respondents admitted to missing at least one day of work within the last 12 months due to job-related stress. 40 percent of respondents also admitted to quitting a job because of high levels of stress. Additionally, within recent years, researchers have proven a link between stress and numerous chronic diseases.

In a 2012 study, researchers as Carnegie Mellon University were able to determine that "chronic psychological stress is associated with the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response." When sustained, this disruption in normal response has been linked to immune system deficiencies and the development of numerous chronic diseases including asthma, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disorders.

In addition to the serious and negative health issues associated with too much stress, workers who are stressed are also more likely to make errors in judgment which could result in an individual suffering a work-related injury. Workers who have questions about stress and the related disabling mental health and physical effects are advised to contact a workers' compensation attorney.

Source: Science Daily, "How stress influences disease: Study reveals inflammation as the culprit," Carnegie Mellon University, April, 2, 2012

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