Tuesday, 15 March 2011 16:00Employees who experience elevated levels of stress at work are more prone to have sleep bruxism, a condition in which individuals clench their jaws or grind their teeth at night, according to research that was published in the journal Head and Face Medicine.
A team of scientists monitored nearly 70 participants who slept with plates in their mouths, which meant to measure severity of teeth grinding.
While they saw no correlation with age, sex or education, the researchers said that the most intense bruxers were those who reported high levels of stress at work.
"Our data support the assumption that people with the most problematic grinding do not seem to be able to deal with stress in an adequate way," said study co-author Maria Giraki.
The findings of the study suggest that stress management techniques, like those offered as part of employee wellness programs, may be an effective way to help those struggling with bruxism improve their jaw and dental health. Additionally, comprehensive employee health benefits that include dental care may help those who have already sustained oral damage as a result of workplace stress.
Monday, 14 March 2011 16:00Research that was published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that employees who work in an environment that is persistently noisy may have double the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In a five-year study of 6,000 workers who were older than 20, a team of scientists found that more than 20 percent of employees said they had worked in a noisy environment, such as a construction site or a factory.
Individuals who spent a lot of time in a loud workplace were two to three times more likely to develop a cardiovascular problem than counterparts who worked in a quiet environment.
However, these workers also tended to be younger males who smoked and were overweight, which can be contributing factors to heart disease.
While cholesterol and signs of inflammation were normal in participants with heart problems, the researchers found that many had one thing in common: high blood pressure.
"This study suggests that excess noise exposure in the workplace is an important occupational health issue and deserves special attention," study authors said.
Results of the study point to a need for not just earplugs for staff members at noisy workplaces, but also employee wellness programs that address stress management techniques.
Thursday, 10 March 2011 16:00In a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), roughly half of the surveyed employees reported discontent on the job due to stress, low pay and being overworked, and 32 percent said they intend to look for new employment over the next year.
Additionally, more than 35 percent said they experience regular workplace stress, with main reasons being heavy workload and a lack of opportunity for advancement.
"The recession, combined with the changing nature of work, may have forever altered the employee-employer relationship, but as a nation we can do better," says David W. Ballard, the APAs assistant executive director for marketing and business development.
Authors of the study noted that organizations should be concerned since a high turnover of employees can be costly. The association is awarding companies across the country for their efforts to improve health through employee wellness programs.
Results of the survey suggest that many workers are in need of tools and resources to reduce workplace stress and improve employee wellness. A happy staff may mean less turnover, which may help improve a company's bottom line.
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 16:00A researcher at the University of Alberta (UA) has warned that individuals should take fatigue seriously, as it has the potential to lead to delirium, withdrawal from society and sleep disorders.
Karin Olson, professor of nursing at UA, has studied the effects of fatigue in employees, athletes, cancer patients and individuals with mental disorders, and says that there are three stages of sleep-deprivation.
The first is simple tiredness, which may cause forgetfulness or irritability but can typically be alleviated with more sleep. The second step is fatigue, which includes hindered concentration, increased stress, a decrease in stamina and sensitivity to light.
The third phase - which should be avoided - is exhaustion. This condition leads to severe confusion, a numbness to emotions, sleep disorders and social withdrawal.
"The onset of the manifestations of fatigue, particularly if these are not normal states for you, should be taken seriously," Olson said.
Results of the study suggest that employees who display symptoms of tiredness should act sooner than later to treat their condition and prevent further complications. Employee wellness programs that include tools and resources for healthy sleep habits may effectively reduce workplace stress and strengthen employee performance.
Monday, 07 March 2011 16:00Research that was published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that employees who are under stress at work have an increased risk of developing heart disease.
Authors of the study noted that previous studies that show a correlation between high levels of job stress and cardiovascular disease have mostly examined the health data of men. This trial involved more than 12,000 female nurses between the ages of 45 and 63.
Nurses who reported intense job-related stress were 35 percent more likely to experience ischaemic heart disease over a 15-year period than their less-stressed counterparts, after the researchers accounted for other risk factors like smoking and lifestyle.
"It seems as if the effect of work pressure has a greater impact on younger nurses," say the authors. "This is in agreement with findings from previous studies looking at age specific effects in both men and women."
Results of the study suggest that employee wellness programs that include tools and resources for stress management may improve a worker's physical health and cut back on costs stemming from employee healthcare and more serious illnesses.
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