SLEEP AND STRESS
• Research of 3,040 people carried out by Cambridge Weight Plan found that six in 10 said their lack of sleep had an effect on the quality of their work, with 40% saying they found it hard to concentrate on their job. a third were left without any energy, and a fifth felt anxious or struggled to make decisions. One in six had even dropped off at their desk. To function at our optimum, at least 7 1/2 hours is recommended.
• An University of Florida study shows lack of sleep not only makes people tired and cranky but also causes them to dislike and even hate their jobs the next morning. The effects were most pronounced in women, who reported suffering more fatigue and hostility and being less attentive and happy than their male counterparts.
• About 16.5 percent of deadly crashes (one in six) involve a driver who is drowsy, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This percentage is substantially higher than most previous estimates, suggesting that the contribution of drowsy driving to motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and deaths has not been fully appreciated previously. The NHTSA also reports that:
- Younger drivers age 16-24 were nearly twice as likely to be involved in a drowsy driving crash as drivers age 40-59.
- Two out of three drivers involved in drowsy driving crashes were men.
- Vehicles in which the driver was alone–unaccompanied by a passenger–were nearly 50 percent more likely to be involved in a drowsy driving related crash than those who had company on their drives.
- (11%) reported having done so within the past year; and 4% said they did so in the past month.
- More than one in four drivers (27%) admitted they had driven while they were “so sleepy that [they] had a hard time keeping [their] eyes open” within the past month.
- More than half (55%) of those drivers who reported having fallen asleep while driving in the past year said that it occurred on a high-speed divided highway.
• A survey by the National Sleep Foundation found that Americans sleep an average of 6.8 hours a night on weekdays, with as many as a quarter reporting sleeping well only a few nights a month.
YOUNG WOMEN AND STRESS
• Young women are more susceptible to heart disease if faced with stress at work. Work pressure had a greater effect on young women than those in their 50s and 60s. The difference was almost 50% in those cases where excessive pressure was faced. The Danish study followed over 12,000 female nurses.
• Stress hormone triggers obesity in girls. The team at University College London have identified that the hormone Cortisol which is released in response to stress can trigger obesity in girls only. Although it is unclear why only girls are affected it could be related to the physiological differences between the two sexes.
A new poll by MONSTER shows many workers fail to take a full lunch break. The job matching Web site, recently conducted a poll that showed 60% of workers do not take their full lunch break. Of those surveyed, 7% admitted they do not take a lunch break at all and 21% always eat lunch at their desk so that they can get more work done.
Monster found workers in the United States were least likely to take their full lunch break, compared to workers in other countries. Europeans were more likely to take their full lunch break (49%), with 58% of French workers reporting they use the entire time and 48% of Italian workers admitting the same. Forty-eight percent of Indian workers also said they take advantage of the full time, while 45% of Asian workers said the same, according to the survey.
No surprise here, but workers brought their lunches back to the office, with nearly 30% of U.S. workers reporting they eat lunch at their decks, followed by 26% of Canadians and Belgium workers doing the same. Yet only 8% workers in Mexico and 9% in Italy said they eat lunch at their desks, according to the survey, which was conducted in June 2010 and involved 17,967 participants.
We know that stress is the number one health risk in our organizations. nd many of us are taking steps to address issues like workload, balance, technology and unhealthy behaviours such as alcohol, and poor sleep habits. We can not underestimate the impact that helping our teams find the right strategies to address these workplace stressors can have on our bottom line through increased engagement and productivity.
1. How does your company address fatigue and sleep issues?
2. Do you promote healthy breaks within your company?