Workplace stress is a growing problem

Workplace stress has been identified as a growing heath hazard, with increasing numbers seeking help regarding the problem, new research has found. Published in BMC Public Health, the study revealed employees are becoming more inclined to look for professional assistance for mental, emotional and physical conditions associated with their job.

Investigators from Concordia University - founded in 1974 following the merger of Loyola College and Sir George Williams University - discovered visits to these experts have climbed by 26 per cent for people working in high-pressure roles.

Sunday Azagba, a PhD candidate in the Concordia Department of Economics, said the findings also show those in medium-to-high stress positions are likely to consult family doctors and specialists about their work more than those in jobs deemed of lesser pressure.

Co-author Mesbah Sharaf noted: "Job stress may also heighten risky behaviours such as smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, discourage healthy behaviours such as physical activity, proper diet and increase consumption of fatty and sweet foods."

Peter Hudson, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "These findings reflect a growing awareness among workers and employers that stress-related illness is a major cause of sickness absence. 

"They also reflect the fact that sufferers see the problems as being worthy of professional intervention, rather that matters they have to struggle with alone.

"Clearly, pressures at work can be seen as a significant causal factor in psychological distress."