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UK Businesses Urged to Help Employees Deal With Stress More Positively
Date:7/17/2008

FRIMLEY, England, July 17 /PRNewswire/ --

- New Report Highlights Dangerous Responses To Stress Among Employees

UK workers are most likely to turn to alcohol, smoking and comfort eating to help them deal with the stress of their occupations, according to a new 'Stroke in Business' report* from The Stroke Association, in association with Siemens. The report highlights the high levels of stress felt in many industries and the often unhealthy ways in which workers respond, potentially leading to serious health problems including increased risk of stroke. The 'Stroke in Business report' calls for UK employers to do more to encourage staff to use exercise to "de-stress".

The Stroke in Business report found that 73% of the UK workforce feels stress as a result of work, with the most common ways of dealing with stress being to get angry (47%); eat more (43%); cry (38%); drink more (34%) and smoke more (23%). Many of these responses are likely to lead to increased blood pressure, which in turn can increase the risk of serious health problems such as stroke, the third biggest killer in the UK. Exercise, one of best ways to combat and reduce stress, is used by just 13% of employees.

The publication of the Stroke in Business report coincides with the launch of Siemens Stroke for Stroke Week 2008, which challenges individuals to kick-start a regular exercise regime by signing up to rowing 10km, helping to raise vital funds for The Stroke Association.

Amongst those surveyed the recruitment sector was identified as the most stressful working environment, with 82% of recruitment consultants regularly feeling stressed, followed by the legal profession (78%), education (73%), marketing (71%), health (70%) and finance (68%). Housewives also made the top ten, with 64% regularly feeling the strain of their daily work in and around the home.

Responses to stress differ widely between professions, with the report showing marketing professionals being the most likely to drink more (59%) and eat more (59%), although this group is also among the most likely to exercise (18%) to reduce its stress levels. The healthiest profession according to the research is IT, with over a quarter (26%) choosing to exercise more when stressed.

The ways in which we choose to deal with stress can have a serious impact on our overall health, explains Joe Korner, Director of External Affairs for The Stroke Association, "Stress clearly affects a great deal of the working population and while stress in itself is undesirable, responding to it in the wrong ways, for instance by drinking excessive alcohol, over-eating or smoking, can all lead to high blood pressure, which is the single biggest risk factor for stroke. This is a major issue for people of all ages, especially those working in stressful occupations."

Siemens, the High Performance Partner of GB Rowing, hopes the Stroke in Business report and the Stroke for Stroke campaign will raise awareness of the importance of regular exercise. Andreas J. Goss, chief executive, Siemens in the UK, said: "Regular exercise is absolutely key for individuals and businesses in maintaining a healthy, happy and productive workforce so we fully endorse The Stroke Association's call for UK employers to become much more proactive in this area. Our support of The Stroke Association through Stroke for Stroke Week is one opportunity for people around the UK to kick-start a new exercise regime and I'd encourage everyone to sign up!"

Siemens Stroke for Stroke Week is taking place between 27th October - 2nd November and the company is encouraging people to sign up to row an individually sponsored 10km. The campaign is open to everyone across the UK and you can sign up by visiting http://www.siemens.co.uk/strokeforstroke. LA fitness, the official gym partner for this year's campaign is offering free access to their gyms for everyone taking part in the campaign.

Four-time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Matthew Pinsent CBE is backing the campaign. He commented, "Some people assume that strokes only affect older people, but over a quarter of all strokes happen to those under the age of 65. The Stroke Association has linked up with Siemens on Stroke for Stroke Week, which is a fantastic opportunity for people to realise the amazing stress busting health benefits that rowing can bring whilst raising vital money to help prevent the UK's 3rd biggest killer."

*Siemens and The Stroke Association surveyed 1,000 people working in a variety of occupations across the UK, in June 2008. For a full copy of the 'Stroke in Business Report' please contact Lindsey Evans, Threepipe (details below).

Notes to editors:

Siemens Stroke for Stroke Week is supported by The Stroke Association. Full details and a link to the justgiving website can be found at http://www.siemens.co.uk/strokeforstroke.

For more information, contact:

Lindsey Evans or Georgie Simmons

Threepipe

T: +44(0)207-632-4800

E: lindsey.evans@threepipe.co.uk / georgie.simmons@threepipe.co.uk


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SOURCE Siemens Plc
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