The statistics below show how stress impacts society.
|Top Causes of Stress in the U.S.||Factors|
|1||Job Pressure||Co-Worker Tension, Bosses, Work Overload|
|2||Money||Loss of Job, Reduced Retirement, Medical Expenses|
|3||Health||Health Crisis, Terminal or Chronic Illness|
|4||Relationships||Divorce, Death of Spouse, Arguments with Friends, Loneliness|
|5||Poor Nutrition||Inadequate Nutrition, Caffeine, Processed Foods, Refined Sugars|
|6||Media Overload||Television, Radio, Internet, E-Mail, Social Networking|
|7||Sleep Deprivation||Inability to release adrenaline and other stress hormones|
|U.S. Stress Statistics||Data||Percent of people who regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress||77%||Feel they are living with extreme stress||33%||Feel their stress has increased over the past five years||48%||Cited money and work as the leading cause of their stress||76%||Reported lying awake at night due to stress||48%|
|Stress Impact Statistics||Data||Percent who say stress has a negative impact on their personal and professional life||43%||Employed adults who say they have difficulty managing work and family responsibilities||31%||Percent who cited jobs interfering with their family or personal time as a significant source of stress||35%||Percent who said stress has caused them to fight with people close to them||54%||Reported being alienated from a friend or family member because of stress||26%||Annual costs to employers in stress related health care and missed work (U.S.)||USD 300 Billion||Annual costs to U.S. economy||USD 1 Trillion||Annual costs to employers in stress related health care and missed work (Switzerland)||CHF 10 Billion||Percent who say they are "always" or "often" under stress at work||30%|
sources: Statistic Brain, Peter Schnall - Unhealthy Work, SECO
Acute vs. chronic stress
There are two types of stress. Acute stress is the stress that we feel and clearly notice, for example when we have an exam the next day. This acute stress is the activation and execution of our fight and flight mode and is a function of our bodies to free up energy when we need it. Acute stress is not dangerous to us, but if it becomes chronic, the consequences can be devastating.
People are usually not aware of chronic stress until secondary symptoms appear that are harder to treat. Although RestArt closely monitors acute stress and records patterns, the primary focus is on chronic stress prevention and burnout prediction and prevention.
In today's fast-paced society our autonomic nervous systems (sympathetic and parasympathetic) and our stress axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex) are constantly under pressure, and it is a challenge for our bodies to return from tension to relaxation and find the balance. Chronic stress can have many serious health consequences, to the point that the World Health Organization calls it: "the health epidemic of the 21st century."
Possible consequences of chronic stress
Prolonged stress exposure (chronic stress) can lead to severe health problems if undetected and untreated. WebMD states that "Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress." A study from the University of Oxford discovered that 70 to 90% of all hospital visits are directly linked to stress, and can cause the following health problems:
- deterioration of brain performance
- chronic pain
- immune system weakness
- heart attacks