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Workplace Stress Management Programs Effective

separator A new study has shown that stress management programs offered in the workplace can have measurable improvements in stress-related symptoms.

Participants in the study were employees in a DuPont subsidiary in Italy. The company was reducing its workforce by 10 percent, and the employees who volunteered to be in the study said they were experiencing work-related stress. Test results indicated that their heart rhythms were, in fact, showing signs of stress, and they were experiencing physical symptoms as well, such as difficulty sleeping, gastrointestinal problems and pounding hearts. They were compared with a group of study volunteers who said they were not experiencing workplace stress.

The study participants were offered either the opportunity to participate in weekly one-hour stress management sessions during their lunch breaks or a more passive program that provided articles and e-mails about stress reduction. During the hour-long sessions, participants learned mental relaxation techniques.

At the end of one year, ECG (electrocardiogram) readings showed significant reductions in stress for the study participants who took part in the more active, weekly sessions.

Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, 8 January 2007
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