Corporate downsizing, family commitments and commutes on treacherous highways are all factors in increased stress, which can lead to poor health and increased absenteeism.


Stress. It’s a word on everyone’s lips these days — too much to do, not enough time and too many commitments.


Corporate downsizing has produced more work for those left on the job, and more fears as well. And when days are filled with commutes on treacherous highways coupled with difficulty of juggling family, career and community involvement, life can feel like a ride on a non-stop Ferris wheel — without any cotton candy. That’s not all. Job overload can cause numerous physical ailments such as elevated cholesterol, increased incidence of heart attacks and hypertension, a lack of confidence, decreased work motivation and increased absenteeism.


But there is hope for a generation of stressed-out employees. According to the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute, thousands of Canadian companies are well on their way to promoting health in the labour force. More than 60 per cent of companies with health promotion programs have shown increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, better employee relations, improved health and wellness and improved morale.

Wellness education may include seminars on stress management, relaxation techniques, nutritional education, time management skills, self-esteem, physical fitness, communication skills, and other self-care issues. It’s a start. Awareness and education programs in the workplace can bring self growth and much needed relief to individuals under enormous pressures. And the added bonus is that employees feel that their employers truly care about them.