Numerous studies have yielded a set of tips for lowering stress at work. For example, New Scientist magazine suggests workers should be moderately sociable. Research has shown that sociability is good for health, with a study of thousands of British civil servants revealing that moral support from colleagues, encouragement from supervisors and clear direction from bosses kept stress levels down.
Keep in mind that too much socializing, however, could lead to work piling up. Research from the University of California shows that a quarter of the working day is lost to interruptions, with emails, phone calls and text messages interfering with efficiency every three minutes. Half of all interruptions are self-generated and a quarter of tasks are put off to the next working day, sending stress levels soaring. So minimize interruptions to your work flow.
It’s a good idea to ensure your surroundings are as pleasant as possible. Simply being able to see your colleagues makes the working day much more manageable according to research by the University of Montreal, with the height of partitions dividing up open plan office space having an effect on stress levels.
Surprisingly, the higher the partition is, the more people complain about noise from their neighbors. The Canadian study showed that the optimum partition height is 4ft 3ins (1.3m) – high enough to provide privacy but low enough to ensure staff do not feel isolated.
And whatever you do, don’t forget to switch off .. in more ways than one. Mobile phones, Blackberries and other omni-present pieces of electronic equipment should be turned off after the working day is over to allow burnt-out brain cells to re-charge.
The cluster of increased risks for stress-related heart disease known as Metabolic Syndrome, also called Syndrome X, is strongly linked with obesity. Regular exercise when combined with a balanced, nutritious diet can help reverse an underlying cause of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, namely the imbalance of blood glucose and insulin called Insulin Resistance. By reversing Insulin Resistance, you can facilitate weight loss.