Workers Stressed "Out"

August 29, 2002 ( - Nearly half of all American workers surveyed say they have been so stressed in the last year that they have contemplated a change in employment - and more than a third of those say the reduced value of their retirement savings is a contributing factor.

In fact, a CIGNA Behavioral Health workplace study found that stress had led 45% of surveyed workers to either consider ditching their current job, to make plans to do so, or to actually quit.

Nearly six in ten of respondents described their job situation either as having more than its share of challenges, and more “despondent” respondents cite:

  • the reduced value of their retirement savings and investments (36%)
  • the uncertain economy (51%)
  • worries about personal job loss (40%)
  • concerns about heightened distrust of corporate America (40%)

Of the 11% of employees who’ve already left a job or plan to soon, most (70%) say their decision was based on the fact that they want to do something entirely different with their lives;

Slightly more than a third (34%) of all employees surveyed say they’ve considered leaving their job but in the end decided to stick it out in their current position – most (88%) citing the need for a steady paycheck, while 37% say they are afraid of the unknown.

Stress Beaters

To better deal with life’s increases hassles, workers said they’ve turned to a variety of activities:

  • 55% have increased their exercise or physical activity
  • 55% say they’re taking more time for recreation or vacations
  • 47% are reading more, signing up for classes, or taking up hobbies
  • 43% are getting more involved with their faith.

More than 750 American employees and more than 200 US employers were polled between July 11 and July 17, 2002.