Published: 12/01/2006 - Updated: 10/17/2018
The Public Health Agency of Barcelona in the study on job stress and its influence on the health of 2006 concluded that job stress is becoming a public health problem by several factors:
- The flexibility of the labor market requires workers to a high availability.
- Increased difficulties in reconciling work and family life, especially in for women.
- Temporary contracts generate fear to losing their jobs.
- Overwork. 15% of men and 22% of women feel overwhelmed by the excess of work in their job.
- The extension of the normal working day.
Symptoms of stress
The main symptoms of stress in the working population under survey were:
- Sleep badly: 13.3% of men; 16.4% of women
- Feeling tired: 9.8% of men; 16.6% of women
- Headache: 10% of men; 21.3% of women
- Tension and irritability: 7.3% of men; 10.4% of women
The Office of Safety, Health and Environment at the University of Barcelona, in the monograph on stress at work, details a series of conditions of health attributable to stress at work:
- Cardiovascular Accidents
- Musculoskeletal dysfunctions of the back and upper limb
- Psychological disorders: Depression, anxiety, burn-out syndrome, etc.
- Accidents in the workplace, stress will interfere with the practice of safe work.
- Alterations of the immune system
- Dysfunctions of the digestive system: gastric ulcer, gastritis, etc..
Hans Selye (1935) defines stress as the set of physiological reactions of the organism to different harmful agents in the environment, produced by the body's instinct to protect itself from physical or emotional situations or extreme danger.
Ultimately, a physiological, psychological behavior of the organism in order to adapt to internal or external pressures:
- The heart beats stronger and faster.
- The mind is put on alert.
- The senses become acute.
If the situation which triggered the reaction of stress is temporary (accident, fall, physical assault, etc..) Changes are caused by stress and can be very convenient; we provide the optimization of resources the body to leave the situation as best as possible. When the trigger goes away, the body returns to normal physiological, psychological and behavioral.
If the stressor (economic pressures, work overload, competitive environment, divorce, etc.) continues, the warning is permanent. The body reacts to the defensive, we feel attacked, we become irritable and our health suffers.
Reduce stress and prevent possible
The first thing we must do to manage stress is to identify the stressor, learn to recognize when we feel stress. Each one of us get stressed by different things, and each person reacts differently compared to a stressor, some have headaches and gastritis, sore throat and other back pain, others feel tightness in the chest, jaw tension, others accuse extreme fatigue, others have an excessive hunger for food, etc.
Once the stressor is identified, we should define and implement a personalized plan to manage and reduce stress. Depending on the nature of the stressor and the effect on those who suffer can:
- Reduce the source of stress: optimizing time management, identifying the priorities, the physical condition of work, adapting it to a better performance, etc.
- Review of production processes to suit the resources and time available.
- Detect and reduce stress: including breathing exercises, music, change of activity, rest time etc.
- Check our subjective perception, another look can leave us indifferent, or against a factor which we stressed earlier.
- Facing the changes as a challenge to gain experience and knowledge rather than as a threat.
- Implement relaxation techniques or release of tension as we get more interested.
Personal Coaching can help you identify the stressor and to prepare a personalized plan for prevention and reduction of stress.
Sophia Blasco Castell, Personal Coach
- Notes on stress in the workplace. Generalitat de Catalunya. Department of Public Governació i Administracions. Directorate General of Public function (24 maig 2005) http://www.gencat.net / governacio-ap/administracio/pdf/protocol_estres.pdf
- Press release from the Public Health Agency of Barcelona Report on the Work stress that analitza l'i la seva salut influence on (28 d'abril de 2006)
- L'stress at treball. Universitat de Barcelona. Office of Safety, Health and Environment (17 d'octubre de 2005)
- Què podem fer per i reduce stress amb l'prevent success? Consells Sophia Blasco Castell. Personal Coach