Job Stress, Early Warning Signs

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Job Stress, Early Warning Signs

Job stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can lead to poor health and even injury.

Listed below are some early warning signs of job stress:

  • Headache
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Short temper
  • Upset stomach
  • Job dissatisfaction
  • Low morale

Job stress and your health: what the research tells us:

  • Cardiovascular disease: Many studies suggest that psychologically demanding jobs that allow employees little control over the work process increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Musculoskeletal disorders: On the basis of research by NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and many other organizations, it is widely believed that job stress increases the risk for development of back and upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders.

  • Psychological disorders: Several studies suggest that differences in rates of mental health problems (such as depression and burnout) for various occupations are due partly to differences in job stress levels. (Economic and lifestyle differences between occupations may also contribute to some of these problems.)

  • Workplace injury: Although more study is needed, there is a growing concern that stressful working conditions interfere with safe work practices and set the stage for injuries at work.

For more, please visit the following areas:

For more information about occupational safety and health problems, call 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674), or visit (

Portions of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of the Centers for Disease Control.

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Reviewed on 8/19/2002

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