News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Workplace Stress - Do You Fight or Flight?

Managing Workplace Stress - Do You Fight or Flight?


One of the benefits of being in the modern world is that on an average day, we do not need to outrun an animal larger than us who is planning to eat us for dinner.

However our bodies still retain a stress response mechanism called the fight or flight response, which is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.

The trouble is the stress we are often responding to today is not the type of stress we can literally run from, so we get stressed and stay that way. Workplace stress is an example of this in action, with office workers who are often already facing the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle having elevated stress levels from work related issues.

The problem of workplace stress is not new; in fact it’s an area of concern that organisations here and across the world have been investigating over the last few years. While quitting your desk job and spending time engaged in a work free and therefore less stressful life may not be realistic for most, managing workplace stress is something achievable for almost everyone.

One of the consistent messages around managing stress is the contribution physical activity can make.
While exercise professionals always champion the benefits of exercise, they are not alone with the NZ Heart Foundation telling us that - “any type of exercise releases feel-good chemicals into the body, helps you sleep better, and contributes to your overall physical health, making you better able to cope with difficulties”.

The Mental Health Foundation keeps it simple when they offer advice for managing stress - “make some time for exercise”.

There is no denying it that not only does regular exercise and physical activity do wonders for your health and your waistline, it’s benefits carry over into your working life too.

Work Safe New Zealand is very clear when it comes to workplace stress and the need for workplaces to consider its impact on staff. Employers can face fines for breaches of obligations under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 if they fail to adequately address workplace stress. With the research showing exercise contributes to stress management, and workplaces obligated to reduce stress, it makes sense that employers should encourage staff to get active.
What has been lacking until now is a clear incentive and mechanism for employers to manage the costs of investing in employees’ health, as the fringe benefit tax that stress reducing exercise programmes attracted, created a financial disincentive. It is great news then that Exercise New Zealand has endorsed a new stress management programme for workplaces (called SMEAEP) that uses REPs Registered Exercise Professionals and facilities to improve the health, and reduce the stress levels of employees.

It is as simple as three easy steps:
Decide as an employer you want to contribute to the health and wellbeing of your employees.

Select a local REPs Registered Exercise Professional who is endorsed to run the programme and sign up with them.
Claim the cost of the programme as an FBT exempt business expense.

So for the over 60% of businesses that considered improving employee well being to have some level of priority over the next 12 months (as reported in a recent ‘wellness in the workplace’ study), the time is right for investing in staff stress management through exercise.

ends

References:

http://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/healthy-living/managing-stress
http://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/file/downloads/pdf/file_89.pdf
http://www.dol.govt.nz/er/services/law/case/themes/2009-12-workplace-stress.asp
http://www.businessnz.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/74615/Wellness-in-the-Workplace-Survey-2013-Report.pdf

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Law Society: Sir Peter Williams QC, 1934 - 2015

“Sir Peter was an exceptional advocate. He had the ability to put the defence case for his clients with powerful oratory. His passion shone through in everything he did and said.” Mr Moore says Sir Peter’s lifelong commitment to prison reform was instrumental in ensuring prison conditions and the rights of prisoners were brought to public attention. More>>

ALSO:

CTU: Peter Conway – Family Statement

Peter committed his whole working life to improving the lives of working people, both in unions and, more recently, as the Economist and Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions. He was previously Chair of Oxfam New Zealand and was on the Board of NZ Trade and Enterprise. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news