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Typical worker spends a third of working life under stress

Every January, much is made every of Blue Monday, supposedly the most miserable day of the year - even though the concept has scant basis in rigorous science.

Commentators believe the notion may be doing little to highlight the extent of stress faced by a typical worker.

A recent study has found that the average UK employee feels 'stressed, anxious or worried' 84 days out of the 240 working days of a year. That's 35 per cent of their working lives.

More than a quarter said they felt like this twice a week and almost one in seven said they felt stressed every day.

Increased workloads

Two-thirds blamed increased workloads, while just over a half (53 per cent) put it down to deadlines. External factors included relationships (34 per cent), lack of control (30 per cent), and lack of confidence (22 per cent).

More than two-thirds said that their stress reduced their motivation, productivity and confidence, and 62 per cent said it was the main reason they didn't perform at their best.

Only 6 per cent said that they had talked to a manager about their stress or anxiety, and 11 per cent admitted to 'suffering in silence'.

The researchers said the evidence was a 'massive call to action to address the root causes of a growing problem'.

Acas publications and services

Acas has published the pdf icon Advisory booklet - Stress at work [582kb], which aims to help stress reduction in the workplace, addressing its causes and coping with its symptoms. The pdf icon Promoting positive mental health in the workplace [284kb] tackles the stigma around mental health and sets out practical measures to improve mental health in the workplace.

Acas experts can visit your organisation and review your health and wellbeing arrangements, improve employee engagement, and find ways to reduce organisational stress. See Health, wellbeing and managing attendance, or contact the Acas customer services team on 0300 123 1150 for more information.

Practical Acas training is also available on Stress, Health, work and wellbeing, Flexible working, Staff retention and essential Skills for supervisors

For free, impartial advice and guidance visit Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.


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