Is Work Stressful?

Jobs are a significant source of stress for a vast majority of workers today. Despite somewhat promising signs of an economic recovery, many employees are stressed out at work, feel undervalued and are dissatisfied with aspects of their job, according to a 2011 survey by the American Psychological Association. The survey found that 36% of workers reported experiencing work stress regularly and almost half said low wages had a significant impact on their stress level at work. Add to that the fact that even if people are working, they still feel vulnerable to job loss. They feel their jobs are not secure, which worries them greatly. Worry and stress are strongly related and a dangerous combination to one’s health.

Work is valued in America, but perhaps to an unhealthy degree. According to the Center for American Progress, 85.8% of American males and 66.5% of females work more than 40 hours per week. Americans, in general, work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers. And for many, more work leads to more stress and an overall lower quality of life. With no time to unwind and relax, spend time with family and friends, enjoy hobbies and generally have a more balanced life, job stress in America may well continue unabated.

Other factors contributing to work-related stress include the feeling that with cell phones, email, telecommuting and being “linked in” all the time, workers are on call 24/7. These modern intrusions have breached the wall between work and personal time. All that stress can lead to significant health problems.