Working Hard? Or Hardly Working? A Stressful Investigation.

March 22, 2018




Stress is the human body’s natural response when one is dealt with challenging situations and high levels of mental and emotional pressure. Large levels of stress over extended periods of time can cause detrimental effects on one’s mental and physical health; their wellbeing, relationships, work and general enjoyment of life (Health Direct Australia, 2015). Within today’s Australia it is extremely common for full-time employees to experience high levels of work-related stress and, according to Safe Work Australia (2013); “more professionals make claims for mental stress than any other factor, and a third of these claims are due to work pressure” – this is no small issue.


Small levels of stress can be seen to increase productivity however large levels of prolonged stress can lead to mental and physical illness and exhaustion (Mental Health Foundation, 2015).

Furthermore; it has been recorded by Beyond Blue (2014) that 21% of Australians have requested leave from work in the past twelve months due feeling “stressed, anxious, depressed or mentally unhealthy”. It is also stated that whilst 91% of Australian employees believe that mental health within a workplace is of importance, only 52% believe that their place of work is truly mentally healthy. This shows that there is an extremely large proportion (48%) of employees who do not regard their workplace to be beneficial to their mental health; exposing an extremely pressing issue when taking into consideration that depressive disorders are predicted to be the leading cause of the global burden of disease by 2030 (World Federation for Mental Health, 2012).


Using these facts and statistics as a basis it is safe to claim that there needs to be immediate intervention by Employers and Organisations to address and lessen the prevalence of this issue of mental health.


This article will investigate into effective ways in which businesses, organisations and employers of large scale teams alike can address such pressing issues to decrease their prevalence and, from a business perspective -  increase productivity, efficiency and profitability.


Many employees – office workers in particular – are at risk of very sedentary lifestyles as, due to their line of work, they are required to remain seated for a large portion of the day. This may have detrimental effects on an individual’s wellbeing as a sedentary lifestyle is known to correlate to an increased risk of various types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, higher risk of developing mental illness, weight gain and overall degradation of health (Rimmer, 2016).


The obvious way to counteract or, at the very least decrease, the effects of a sedentary lifestyle is to participate in regular patterns of physical activity. Regular physical activity within individuals can lead to many great physical rewards on the body; these including weight control, a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the strengthening of muscles, improved respiratory function and an increased life expectancy (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, 2015). There is also seen to be a stro