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Wellsource Blog

Manage Job Stress to Control Healthcare Costs

Written by Wellsource, Inc.

June 04, 2013

Everyone experiences stress at some time in their life, from bad things as well as good. Financial trouble, divorce, illness, job loss, or death of a loved one can all be very stressful. Getting married or starting a new job can be, too.

Stress has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, an increased risk of infection, anxiety, depression, and poor control of diabetes. And an estimated 69 percent of U.S. employees say work is a significant source of stress for them, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association.

Some job stress is normal. But left unchecked, things like deadlines, difficult customers, or personality conflicts on the job can become a problem. Job stress costs U.S. employers an estimated $300 billion a year in absenteeism, employee turnover, lost productivity, and medical, legal, and insurance costs.

Are your participants stressed out? You need to know, because too much stress could negatively impact your bottom line. Stress can disrupt sleep, damage the heart, and affect memory and mental health. And in a large study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, researchers found that healthcare costs for employees with high levels of stress were 46 percent higher than for those without a lot of stress.

When your participants complete the Personal Wellness Profile™ health assessment, they answer a series of questions about stress and coping. You can review their responses in the Executive Summary Report to evaluate the stress level of your participants. You can also look at stress levels over time with the Group Progress Report as long as your participants have taken at least two assessments.

These evidence-based questions will help you identify the leading causes of stress for your participants. You can use this information to develop interventions to reduce stress among your participants, and ultimately control your healthcare costs.

You can also compare your organization to standards established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see how your work environment measures up. The characteristics of a healthy, low-stress work environment with high levels of productivity include:

  • Recognition of employees for good work performance
  • Opportunities for career development
  • An organizational culture that values the individual worker
  • Management actions that are consistent with organizational values

Sources:
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

American Psychological Association.

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"Good health is your greatest asset. You will never regret a decision to take better care of your health."

Don Hall, DrPH, CHES, Founder Wellsource

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