As of December 2023, the Healthy Work Campaign Engaged Over 3,500 Workers About Work Stress

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Stress at work has reached epidemic proportions and shows little decline in 2023. According to the American Psychological Association‘s “Work in America Survey: Workplaces as Engines of Psychological Health & Wellbeing,” 77% of U.S. workers reported experiencing stress at work in the past month, and 57% experienced negative health effects as a result including burnout.

As of December 2023, 3,577 workers completed the online Healthy Work Survey, based on the NIOSH Quality of Work Life survey. Individuals and organizations assessed their levels of work stress as well as several important health indicators. Although a selective sample of workers, the HWS results are consistent with national trends of high levels of stress and burnout. Eighty-six percent of HWS respondents reported stressful work (often/very often), and 88% reported often/very often “feeling used up at the end of the day”, an indicator of exhaustion and a key component of burnout.

The % of workers completing the HWS, with high-risk work stressors were:

  1. High workloads/job demands – 80%
  2. Low job control/resources – 60%
  3. Low supervisor support – 55%
  4. High work-family conflict – 55%
  5. Low rewards (lack of promotions, fair earnings, respect and job security) – 50%

A higher percent of HWS respondents (compared to U.S. national population data) reported personally experiencing (38%) or witnessing workplace bullying (43%). Sixteen percent reported experiencing age or gender discrimination, and 9% experienced discrimination due to their race/ethnicity.

“A large percentage of workers completing the Healthy Work Survey were considered at “high risk” for these common sources of work-related stress,” said Dr. Marnie Dobson, Director of the Healthy Work Campaign. “Organizations conducting the survey in 2023 definitely showed concern about employee mental health and well-being, burnout, understaffing, and high workloads and wanted to make improvements.”

The Healthy Work Survey was launched in 2021 as a project of the nonprofit research foundation, the Center for Social Epidemiology’s Healthy Work Campaign. “It is free, online, and uses scientifically-valid measures of work stressors known to cause mental health disorders, and chronic disease including hypertension and heart disease,” says Dr. Peter Schnall, Director and Founder of the Center.

Eighteen different occupations are represented in the survey, with the largest % of workers being from occupations related to: management, business and financial operations, sales, healthcare support, office and administrative support. Workers were also from educational occupations, food preparation and service, production, transportation, and healthcare practitioners. Sixty-four percent of respondents were women, and 75% were white, 7% black, 7% hispanic/latino and 3% asian/asian-american.

“In 2024, we will be working towards providing a Spanish-language version of the survey, and making the survey more broadly accessible to vulnerable, low-income and immigrant workers who are at higher risk for stress at work,” says Dr. Dobson.

The Healthy Work Campaign urges everyone, especially occupational health & safety specialists, human resources managers, worker advocates and labor representatives, to utilize the Survey and free reports to assess the level of chronic stress workers are exposed to. Since preventing workers from developing poor mental health is a major public health priority, so should reducing stress and implementing healthy work.

Zach Schnall

SOURCE Healthy Work Campaign