Teachers experience high levels of workplace stress
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 16:00In an article in the Huffington Post, the stressors of being a teacher are discussed, including a lack of break time during the day, adapting to policy changes and working with a vast array of people, from small children to experienced administrators.
Additionally, teachers appear to get very little respect from the general public. A recent survey ranked education professionals at 100 in the top 200 jobs in the U.S., as a result of low pay, demands and stress, according to the news source.
However, the author offered some tips to educators who are starting to feel the pressure of a new school year.
“Among those suggested by my [radio show] guests were taking five minutes at the beginning of each day for oneself, planning for breaks, tapping into one's gifts and talents, and aligning with those who inspire and motivate,” said BAM Radio Network host Rae Pica in her article.
According to Time-Managemen-Success.com, it may help educators to change their point of view on a situation. Viewing things in a more positive light has been shown to help improve workplace stress and strengthen employee performance.
Newer models of shift work may be healthier for nurses
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 16:00It's an unavoidable hazard in the healthcare industry: working long night shifts. People can't control when they get sick or injured, so hospitals must be fully staffed at all times. Unfortunately, this sometimes means intense workplace stress or compromised health for doctors and nurses.
However, things may be getting better, according to a recent study by researchers at Queen's University.
Lately, healthcare facilities have been scheduling night shift workers to work two day shifts followed by two overnight, then giving employees three days off. Previously, common practice had been to work one week of night shifts then one normal week before getting a short time off.
Researchers have found that the older scheduling practice often left nurses and doctors with melatonin deficiency, a shortage in a protective hormone released during sleep.
"Our study indicates that the now common rotating shift pattern of day-day-night-night may not disrupt circadian rhythm or melatonin production significantly," said lead author Anne Grundy.
In addition to using more humane scheduling methods, hospitals may want to consider implementing employee wellness programs that provide tools and resources for stress management.
Researchers examine how the brain learns during sleep
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 16:00The National Sleep Foundation reports that 63 percent of Americans do not get enough sleep during the weekday. This statistic may mean that the majority of employees in the U.S. are not performing optimally, since sleep has been shown to improve memory.
In a study, researchers at Michigan State University have found that the brain does something during sleep that helps it retain information, though the mechanisms behind this are somewhat unknown.
Additionally, the authors believe that this effect may occur more strongly in certain individuals, perhaps shedding some light onto learning disorders.
"You and I could go to bed at the same time and get the same amount of sleep," said lead researcher Kimberly Fenn, "but while your memory may increase substantially, there may be no change in mine."
She and her colleagues concluded that it's safe to say that a good night's sleep improves cognition for everyone, even those who may lack this particular memory mechanism.
Since stress and loss of sleep are strongly associated, employers may want to ensure that workers are getting enough rest by implementing employee wellness programs that focus on stress management.
Study reveals most caffeine-dependent professionals
Monday, 26 September 2011 16:00Research from Duke University Medical Center has suggested that workers who rely on coffee or other caffeinated beverages may be exacerbating workplace stress with their choice of drink. The study revealed that caffeine's effects can last throughout the day and intensify the physiological effects of anxiety.
A recent study by CareerBuilder reports that many professionals say they "need" coffee just to get through the day, and some fields appear to have a worse dependency than others.
According to the survey, lab technicians, scientists, marketing professionals, administrators in education, writers and editors reported the most significant need for coffee to carry out their daily responsibilities.
Additionally, about 61 percent of coffee drinkers reported consuming two cups per day, while 28 percent said they drink at least three.
Results of this study suggest that people in these professions may be in need of employee wellness programs that provide tools and techniques to reduce workplace stress in a healthy way. Research has shown that physical and mental wellness can influence optimal employee performance, without the use of stimulants.
Survey: More employers are offering incentives to participate in wellness programs
Monday, 26 September 2011 16:00Employee wellness programs have been shown to provide workers with invaluable information on healthy living and stress management, which can result in reduced healthcare costs. However, they can't do much good if workers don't use them.
In a survey, human resources firm bswift found that the number of companies offering incentives for participation in wellness programs rose from 49 percent in 2010 to 68 percent in 2011.
Additionally, companies appear to be using health biometrics as a way to measure the outcomes of wellness programs and ensure that workers are getting results from them.
"On the wellness front, we're seeing large and small companies investing significant time and money in biometric tests and wellness incentives as strategic tools to stimulate employee engagement and control costs," said bswift CEO Rich Gallun.
The survey also found that organizations are cutting back on administrative costs stemming from employee health benefits by using technology solutions. The researchers noted that companies who implement automated benefits administration processes stand to save an estimated $19 per employee.
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