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Why Workers are Feeling More Stressed Than Ever

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Licensee with AAP

According to new research, stress is making many of us irritable towards both colleagues and loved ones, and work pressures are one of the factors responsible.

A survey of 1,000 people by health fund Medibank found that half of them reported being irritable towards others because of stress. Over 33% were reluctant to take part in social activities due to feelings of stress, and 18% felt they couldn’t be “there” for family members.

For 44% of respondents, lack of sleep was a key contributor to their stress levels. Work pressures were blamed by 39% of people, and 36%  said they were juggling too many things.

Overall, the researchers said the number of Australians experiencing stress has jumped by one third over the past decade to 4.9 million people.

Australians experiencing stress has jumped by one third over the past decade to 4.9 million people. 

Medibank Chief Medical Officer, Dr Linda Swan, said the research also found people affected by stress were more likely to suffer from mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.

"It's clear 2017 has been a tough year for many, with both personal and wider societal pressures being the major contributors to our stress. That's why it's essential we do everything we can to take care of our mental wellbeing and continue to look out for one another as we enter a new year," Dr Swan said.

Other factors reported by the survey participants as contributing to their stress levels included housing affordability, pressures from social media, and the global political climate.

MATES in Construction has identified that the lead-up to the Christmas-New Year holiday season may be particularly stressful for workers in the construction industry.

In a recent news item posted by the organisation, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland noted that there are more injuries reported in the lead-up, as workers push to get tasks completed before the holiday season.

There are more injuries reported in the lead-up, as workers push to get tasks completed before the holiday season. 

WorkCover Queensland Customer Group Executive, Melanie Stojanovic, said being worn out and not concentrating on your work as much as you ought to can also lead to mistakes.

“We seem to get a lot of simple accidents, such as slips, trips and falls, around this time of the year,” she said. “There are also the outside stressors that occur at this time of the year, with Christmas parties, concerts and end of year school and sporting break up events for children, people might be thinking about or rushing off to get to.”

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