We’ve all been there. Whether it’s worrying about meeting an upcoming deadline or having too much to do in too little time, the majority of Americans experience stress from their workplace. Stress from one aspect of our lives can affect the quality of other aspects of our lives. Since we’re working in an increasingly automated world, it’s important for us to adopt appropriate coping strategies. How else will we keep a high-stress job that we trained for and that we find challenging?
Running comes to mind as a healthy habit that can help us cope with workplace stress. Running also keeps us in better shape and ready for the changes in this fast-paced society. Here are some interesting facts about workplace stress that may point you to running for relief:
The Background on Workplace Stress
According to the 2016 Deloitte Greenhouse™ Experience team survey of over 23,000 professionals on Business Chemistry and Stress, there are many reasons people feel stressed at work. The top response among respondents was making an error (82 percent). Other top stressors were: a challenging workload (52 percent); conflict such as getting reprimanded or delivering a difficult message (52 percent); situations that create urgency such as deadlines (46 percent); face-to-face meetings such as making a presentation (45 percent). Sometimes, it’s a matter of perception about our job instead of the reality of our job.
Why We Are Stressed
Another reason that some people feel more stressed stems from their required work schedule. The U.S. Department of Labor determined back in 2002 that some workers are more at risk in terms of their health and safety because they work long shifts and/or overtime. Seven percent of people worked more than 60 hours per week. Nurses are a good example of workers who perform 12-hour shifts or longer and experience this level of risk as a standard working condition. One problem that nurses experienced due to long shifts was sleep deprivation.
The Symptoms of Workplace Stress
Symptoms might vary based on the type of work that you do. According to the American Psychological Association, people feel more stress as they get older. They experience elevated blood pressure. Other workers get stressed by a hostile work environment and long hours. Due to aging or stress, high blood pressure can accelerate the beginning of heart disease. Work stress commonly impacts those workers who perceive they have minimal control over their workplace (i.e. blue-collar workers and manual workers). Stress can also cause burnout and depression.
How to Approach Stress
One way to change how stress influences your life is to think about it in a different way. When participants in a study conducted by Yale University embraced a more positive mindset about stress, they experienced a 23% drop in stress-related symptoms, like headaches, backaches, and fatigue. Remember, the next time your palms start sweating and your heart speeds up, recognize stress for what it is and don’t be alarmed by it. Feel positive that you’re motivated to learn more about a situation, solve a problem, participate in an important meeting, or whatever has made you suddenly feel amped up.
The Benefits of Running
Going for a jog or a run will get you outdoors (or on the treadmill) and removed from a stressful work environment. The whole “mulling over” concept is a narrow thought process that impedes productivity. Feelings of stress, anxiety, worry, and exhaustion could hold you back from enjoying other aspects of your workday. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. When you run, you are going to get that aerobic exercise, feel the mood lift, and it could be as little as five minutes per day.
Today is the perfect day to run. It might have to wait until the end of your shift, but feel positive that you get to run soon!