Presentation on theme: "Recent Research on Stress at Work Andy Smith. Early issues Heavy industry – the physical working environment e.g. Noise Working hours e.g. shift-work;"— Presentation transcript:
Recent Research on Stress at Work Andy Smith
Early issues Heavy industry – the physical working environment e.g. Noise Working hours e.g. shift-work; long working hours
Psychosocial stressors Karasek model: Job demands Control (and later social support)
A sceptics view of stress at work Theres no such thing as stress Stress is the buzz word of the day If we highlight it – people will catch it Stress is a good thing Its just an excuse not to come to work
A letter to the Times Stress is a normal component of responsibility. If someone complains of unbearable stress at work the remedy is to demote him or her immediately by at least two levels with a corresponding reduction in pay, since the complaint clearly demonstrates that the complainant has been promoted to his/her level of incompetence.
Research supported by HSE
The Bristol Stress and Health at Work Study Provide information on the scale of perceived stress at work Identify risk factors Identify possible health outcomes Is stress at work due to stress outside of work? Based on a sample of > 4,000 workers
How much stress? Described their job as very or extremely stressful: MalesFemales FULL-TIME18.6%23.9% PART-TIME 6.8% 9.2% 5 Million highly stressed in UK
Work characteristics associated with stress included: Having to work fast Having to combine different things Taking the initiative Responsibility Lack of support Overtime; long working hours Noise Being treated unfairly
Stress and chronic health problems: High blood pressure low stress high stress 13% 19% Nervous trouble/ Depression low stress high stress 19% 25%
Stress and health problems in last 12 months High stress associated with more:- Arthritis/rheumatism Sciatica/lumbago/backache Hay fever Stomach trouble/indigestion Being constipated / Piles Foot trouble Depression/anxiety Gums/mouth
Stress and health problems in last 14 days: High stress associated with greater reporting of: Cough; Catarrh; Phlegm; Diarrhoea; Heartburn; Wind; Indigestion; Shortness of Breath; Dizziness; Earache; Swollen Ankles; Nervy; Tense or Depressed; Sore Throat; Difficulty Sleeping; Pains in the Chest; Backache; Nausea; Feeling Tired for No Apparent Reason; Rashes; Itches; Skin Trouble; Headache; Trouble With Gums, Wheeziness.
A definition of stress Stress is apparent when demands exceed the ability to cope. Stress is the reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them.
Combined effects of risk factors The Combined Effects Approach Factors usually studied in isolation Not representative of real-life situation
Combined effects of demographic and general occupational risk factors Divorced/separated/widowed years old Full-time Educated to degree level Socio-economic Group II
Number of risk factors and reports of stress High Stress %
Ethnicity, discrimination and stress Work stressEthnicity Non-whiteWhite High stress29.1% (34)18.3% (713) Low stress70.9% (83)81.7% (3179)
Discrimination Those reporting racial discrimination at work have the highest stress levels. Looking at the combination of ethnicity, discrimination and gender – Female, discriminated against, African-Caribbeans report the highest stress
Last 2 or 3 years – next series of talks Combined effects = culture? Stress in particular sectors Health-related behaviours and stress Stress in those starting work Stress and job retention Stress and return to work: the role of therapy