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Study finds work stress costs economy $14.81b annually

WORK stress is causing sleep deprivation, harm to physical health and costing the economy $14.81 billion annually.

A study conducted by Medibank 24/7 Health Advice Line found that 86% of Queensland residents experience severe stress at work with 38% of full timers feeling seriously pressured most weeks of the year.

It documented men more commonly suffered from stress from the workplace than women.

Mental Health Council of Australia CEO Frank Quinlan said this Mental Health Day, October 10, employers and employees should be working together to reduce the risk of operating in a stressful workplace.

"Stress is caused by a range of issues including long hours, large workloads, job insecurity or conflicts at work, and the symptoms can severely impact on quality of life," he said.

"World Health Week is a national event that coincides with World Mental Health Day (October 10). It aims to promote social and emotional well-being in the community. Workplace stress is one of the most common health issues affecting Australia today and as a nation we must raise awareness amongst both employers and employees alike."

As a direct result of work stress, around three-quarters of workers have had sleepless nights.

Medibank 24/7 Health Advice Line psychologist Melissa Lehmann said work stress could cause a huge range of problems.

"Some, such as headaches or sleep problems, are more known than others, but stress can also contribute to serious long-term conditions such as heart disease, depression and anxiety."

Workers who experience work related stress should speak to a trusted medical professional.

Survey results

  • 86% of Queensland residents experience severe stress at work.
  • Stress causes 15% of Australians to take sick days at least once a month, equating to more than 20 million days off per year.

Topics:  medibank mental health queensland stress work



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