The Stress Number Report Reveals That Stress Causes Annual $5000 Loss Per Employee

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The Oxygen Plan Corporation has reported the results of the 2011 online stress test, The Stress Number. Over 47,000 people participated in the 30 question test that gauged individual stress in the areas of home, work, and social stress.

The findings indicate that stress continues to be prevalent. The scoring ranged from 0 to 100, with lower numbers meaning extreme stress and higher numbers meaning little stress. Regarding home, the numbers came in at 47, while work scored 53 and social stress 54. The numbers are consistent with numbers from the last couple of years.

Dr. Donald E. Williams, clinical health psychologist and Chief Science Officer for The Oxygen Plan, stated, “Stress continues to be a concern in the lives of people – at work, in the social lives and especially at home. We continue to see each Stress Number™ in the yellow in all life phases. Employers should be increasingly alarmed given that stress levels remain unchecked for 3 years running. A company of 10,000 has lost up to $50 million for each of the past 3 years for a total of nearly $150 million. The costs are staggering and should grab the attention of any CEO or CFO, particularly since stress is the #1 modifiable health risk factor.”

About $400 billion dollars a year is lost from U.S. employers due to employee stress but many companies are not aware of the implications that long-term stress can have on employee productivity and health. Employees that are stressed are absent more frequently, have more physical and mental illnesses, and are quicker to quit their job. Williams added, “Many organizations are unaware of their employees’ actual stress levels, how much of their stress is job-related, the root causes of their stress, or that they can be proactive in terms of addressing the very real problems and associated costs.”

An advantage of The Stress Number is that the results can be used to promote better stress management and health care in the workplace. Employers that know the aggregate employee Stress Number can be proactive in developing ways to reduce that number, thus increasing employee engagement and improving productivity.

To learn more about The Oxygen Plan, visit

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Rachel, writer for, has graduate level work in literature and currently works in university administration.