Lifeline’s 2012 Stress Poll reveals that the leading areas of stress in Australia are work – and concerns about the future. Overall, 91% of respondents experienced ‘some’ stress while 43% suffering from ‘a lot’ or unhealthy levels of stress.
“The 2011 Stress Poll results showed an alarming spike in stress levels across the board and this suggests that people still aren’t getting the messages about stress management,” said Lifeline’s Director of Communications and Government Relations, Chris Wagner.
Bupa Health and Wellness Ambassador, Matt Welsh, echoed Lifeline’s sentiment, adding that Australians need to be more aware of the negative effects of stress. “Employers and employees need to be more aware of the negative effects that poorly managed stress can lead to, not only in terms of decreased productivity but also relating to long-term health issues.”
Lifeline’s Stress Poll has been in operation for more than five years and has closely monitored the upward trend in Australian stress levels. Both Lifeline and Bupa have called for a larger focus on stress management education.
“A simple first step to managing stress is identifying the source as people tend to stress about being stressed. If you can find the source of your stress you not only reduce its effects, but can identify whether there’s a need to seek help,” Welsh said.
“Resilience to stress through solutions such as working sensible hours, taking lunch breaks and encouraging a healthy work/life balance can make a world of difference.”
Other interesting data from the 2012 Stress Poll includes:
• Overall, females indicated higher frequency of ‘a lot’ of stress than males (50% compared to 36%);
• Stress levels specifically due to relationships were noticeably higher for single respondents (55% compared to 36-42%);
• Adults with children at home indicate more stress about personal relationships (52% vs 42%), thoughts about the future (77% vs 70%) and finances (73% vs 67%);
• Indications of ‘a lot’ of stress peaked at the 35-39 age bracket (57%); and
• Households earning less than $50,000 recorded lower stress than those earning $90,000 or more in work (69% vs 82%), relationships (36% vs 53%) and finances (63% vs 73%).
“We can all take simple measures to reduce our stress levels from getting a good night’s sleep to making some time for exercise. Australians should be taking steps towards a better understanding of stress management and building resilience,” Wagner added.