Stress is a symptom of modern-living that’s tough to avoid. It’s no surprise to say that work, a place where most people spend the majority of their waking hours, is a major contributor to this.
A new report by the Health and Safety Executive has revealed the most stress-inducing jobs in the UK. The study also broke down the data and provided insights into the effects of different genders, ages, and workplace sizes on stress levels.
The most stressed workers were people working in a professional capacity. The worst affected were welfare professionals, followed by nursing professionals, then legal professionals and teachers, and finally business professionals.
The least stressed people worked in skilled trades, process plant and machinery jobs, manual labor, or jobs that require the basic use of handheld tools.
Across all kinds of occupations, the more people a company employed, the more stressed its employees were. Women are significantly more likely, up to 61 percent more, to suffer workplace stress than men. For women, the age categories 25 to 34 years and 45 to 54 years had slightly higher than average stress levels but women aged 35 to 44 years were the most affected. For men, the only age group who suffered from significantly more stress than average was 45 to 54-year-olds.
The researchers also found that around 1,610 per 100,000 workers in the UK had experienced a case of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in the past year, a figure which has risen very slightly in recent years. Stress and anxiety also accounted for nearly half of all sick days taken. In the UK, that’s about 12.5 million working days. Most stress and anxiety was caused by workload, although lack of support, uncertainty, and bullying were big contributors too.
Fortunately, if you are stressed at work, there are some simple science-backed methods you can use to help ease your worried bones. First of all, take a few deep breaths. Remarkably, a recent study found that there's a small network of neurons in your brain that keeps tabs on how you’re breathing and then relays this information to another part of the brain responsible for your state of mind. In short, that means breathing (something very easily controlled) is inexplicably linked to your emotions, state of mind, and stress.