Job stress is 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" (NIOSH, 1999).
Other definitions of job stress include: The demands of the workers are not matched by the decision-making authority and skill levels of the worker; and efforts made on the job are not matched by the rewards provided by the job, such as support, respect, security, or opportunities for advancement and income (Siergrist, 1996; Karasek, 1998).
About one-third of workers say their work is very or extremely stressful; while 25% of employees view work as their number one stressor; and up to 44% of women and 36% of men want to quit due to job stress. Not only can stressors affect individual workers, but they can also decrease productivity, as well as increase financial burdens of workplaces (NIOSH, 1999).
Workers frequently exposed to physical, emotional or job design stressors are at risk for experiencing job stress. Warning signs of job stress include
There are many short-term and long-term effects of prolonged exposure to job stress. However, by taking a proactive approach, there are many things you can do to prevent these effects.