28 April 2009

Blood Pressure Stress at Work - HR to the Rescue

Stress in the Workplace

Healthy debate about how best companies can show they care about employees health. The current recession has already cost many people their jobs and those still in work are likely to be suffering high degrees of stress surrounding the uncertainty of their own job security.

Stress - Blood Pressure

Elevated stress is often associated with poor diet and lifestyle which increase the chances of developing high blood pressure. Human Resources departments are keen to identify ways to perform under pressure and are issuing instructions about managing stress. This article on perfomance whilst avoiding stress offers simple lifestyle tips that will help maintain a healthy body - lowering blood pressure. Awareness days have been hugely successful - events such as blood pressure testing and more recently stress awareness and testing. One new product is a small square LCD thermometer. Press your finger to the square for a few seconds, and it changes colour depending on how stressed you are. The science behind the stress square is simple. Not measuring blood pressure as such but when we are relaxed, blood flows freely through the body. However, when we are ancxious or stressed, then blood is diverted to the muscles and essential organs, which means that our fingers cool.

Such devices can be stuck on mouse mats or desks and provide a great talking point for staff. As they can be used again and again, they are a simple stress management tool that lasts.

Elsewhere attempts by HR teams to encourage better health lower blood pressure have included association with gyms, bringing trainers into the work place and involving staff in setting goals by charting their activities, lifestyle changes and reduced blood pressure