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Safety Tips | Wellness

Handling stress

February 1, 2010

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According to NIOSH, research has found that stress can increase employees’ risk of developing cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal disorders, particularly in the back and upper extremities. Some preliminary studies suggest a link between stress and the development of ulcers, cancer and impaired immune function.

So what can employees do to better manage their stress levels at work? NIOSH recommends:

  • Develop a strong social support system in the workplace. A co-worker or other ally who is available to help talk through problems can help put things in perspective and minimize stress.
  • Take a break to avoid “burnout.” Even something as brief as a walk around the block can help clear your head and distance you from stressors, enabling you to return to the job with a fresh outlook.
  • Set realistic expectations for the amount of work you can complete in the time you have available. Do not attempt to take on more than you can reasonably handle.
  • Recognize you are not perfect and every minor detail in your work will not be perfect either.
  • Try to remain organized and keep your work area free of clutter, which can add to stress.
  • Avoid negativity and negative people, and try to maintain a positive attitude about your work and your co-workers.

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