One-fourth of all employees view their job as the number one stress in their lives. ¹  Yale University found that twenty-six percent workers report they are “often or very often burned out or stressed by their work. ² Health care expenditures are nearly fifty percent greater for workers who report high levels of stress. ³

The National Institute of Occupational Science and Health state that job stress is: the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources or needs of the worker.

Identifying the varied signs of job stress are what occupational therapy practitioners are skilled at. Stress is rarely seen as serious by both employees and employers. It’s become a societal norm that people simply refer to their day as ‘so busy’.

Research resolved speculation of body and mind side-effects as early warning signs of job stress, including: cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal and psychological disorders. Workplace injury, suicide, cancer, ulcers and impaired immune systems are more often linked to job stress. Studies support these statements, yet also suggests more research is necessary.

Additional stress symptoms include:

  • back, neck, and/or shoulder tightness and/or pain;
  • upper extremity (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, fingers) disorders
  • chronic multi-symptom illness
  • depression
  • fatigue;
  • an increase in overall pain threshold;
  • an increase in injury
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • anxiety

If you have job stress, which condition is true for you:

  1. Are the tasks designed for you? This includes demands of a task, ability to perform the task, your skills match your job tasks.
  2. Is the management style supporting your needs?  Communication styles foster either inter-dependent, co-dependent or independencies; Interpersonal relationships amongst peers, management, and customers don’t cause issues in transition between home and work roles.
  3. How many roles are you fulfilling at work?
  4. What underlying career concerns exist? This includes personal and/or professional attributes, unattainable and/or attainable goals; consider overall job security.
  5. What are the environmental conditions? Surroundings like textures, noise, lighting, crowding, odors, unpleasant or dangerous conditions are work-relational aspects to consider.

How many conditions did you say yes to above? Stress manifests into poor health conditions or body ailments. Our services address stress management for overall performance improvement, health and achieving quality of life.


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¹ Northwestern National Life Survey, Scope of Stress in the Workplace, CDC – NIOSH Publications and Products web-page:
²Survey by Yale University, What Workers Say About Stress on the Job, CDC – NIOSH Publications and Products web-page:
³Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health Medicine, Job Stress and Health, CDC – NIOSH Publications and Products web-page:

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