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Fast Company: The Terrible Things Your Work Stress Is Doing To Your Health

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stress-391654_1280Imagine how much employers could improve job satisfaction (along with loyalty and recruitment) and appropriate and necessary healthcare utilization, if they just helped their employees cope more effectively with job stress. While work cannot always be fun, it also need not be torture. Employers with vision see that satisfied employees are people who are gaining mastery over their work skills and deriving some form of contentment from the process of earning a living and building a career. We are pretty sure that does not include having your cholesterol checked.

A common theme: The biggest things that cause stress are also the ones that heap on the most health care costs.
The biggest are lack of insurance, a demanding job, and work-family conflict. The complete set of factors they explore…

Fast Company: The Terrible Things Your Work Stress Is Doing To Your Health.


  1. Dee Edington says:

    Vik, I believe you, Al, Tom and I are all on the same page on the stress issue. Wellness, in general, is moving in this direction relatively rapidly, even since Zero Trends in 2009. I agree that stress and several associated issues will be and is one of the major opportunities in performance going forward. Our book (Jennifer Pitts as co-author) will address this very issue (wellness is not only about financial return for the employer). Of course, America still has heart, cardiovascular, stroke and diabetes issues hanging over our head, and the wellness field has to continue to do whatever it can to contribute to that effort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vik Khanna says:

      Dee: thanks very much for your comment. Indeed, the four of us are nicely aligned on this issue. Case in point: yesterday, I met with a team assigned to build an employee well-being strategy for a client of mine, a rapidly growing medical technology company. I asked the five employees in the room (a mix of long- and short-tenured) this question: do you love coming to work? Four out of five said NO, and one then immediately blurted out “I am at the ehd of my rope,” which shocked everyone else in the room. The conversation then rapidly shifted to what senior leaders refuse to acknowledge: they are asking their people to do too much, too fast, and with too little support. Ironically, the HR person in the room was adamant that the wellness program saves lives.

      I think it would be useful for the wellness industry to answer a simple epidemilogic question about all this supposedly preventable chronic disease: given that most of the adverse events happen later in life (around Medicare age and beyond), how is it rational to conclude that we should privatize the search for disease in hopes of an illusive and likely unmeasureable public benefit two or three decades from now?


  2. whynobodybelievesthenumbers says:

    Hi Dee, please let us know when your new book is out so we can link and/or review it. I think we all share the concern that the wellness industry as we know it today is like the drunk looking for his wallet under the streetlamp because the light is better, even though he lost it 100 yards away. Culture and workplace/home stress (and other variables) are root cause. Paying people to be happy isn’t going to address those root causes.

    Liked by 1 person

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