Even low-level stress may lead to disability

While it’s common knowledge that high levels of stress have detrimental effects on an individual’s mental and physical health, a new study shows that even moderate anxiety may increase a worker’s chance of disability by 70 percent.

The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Researchers examined the data of more than 17,000 employees over a five-year period. They found that the results supported long-held beliefs regarding the health of those under intense stress but were surprised about the effects of everyday anxiety on individuals, a number that was high even when they corrected for lifestyle habits.

Authors of the study said its results may have major implications for modern employers, who seem to be putting more stress on workers than ever.

“Are the strains and demands of modern society commonly exceeding human ability?” asked the researchers.

Stress accounted for one-fourth of disability claims related to physical illness, and two-thirds of those stemming from mental issues.

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