Quiz: Do You Know How to Cope With Job Stress?

Whether you’re at the top of the career ladder or a few rungs down, chances are you’ve felt some stress on the job. In a survey reported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 40 percent of Americans said their jobs were “very or extremely stressful.” The strain isn’t just aggravating — according to NIOSH, job stress can be hazardous to your health. If you’re gnashing your teeth over a pushy boss, impossible deadlines, or office conflicts, it’s time to take action. How much do you know about coping with job stress? Take this short quiz to find out.

1. Which of these conditions is strongly linked to job stress?

    • a. Back pain

 

    • b. Heart Disease

 

    • c. Depression

 

    d. All of the above

2. According to the American Psychological Association, supervisors and heads of companies are especially vulnerable to job stress.

    • True

 

    False

3. If you feel a lack of control over your job, your only choices are putting up with it or quitting.

    • True

 

    False

4. According to NIOSH, which of these is the most effective long-term solution to on-the-job stress?

    • a. Relaxation exercises

 

    • b. Effective time management

 

    • c. Worker-friendly organizational changes

 

    d. Vacations

5. You have a legal right to a safe working environment.

    • True

 

    False

6. A healthy diet, adequate sleep, and regular exercise can help you deal with on-the-job stress.

    • True

 

    False

Answers
1. Which of these conditions is strongly linked to job stress?

The correct answer is: d. All of the above

Still think job stress is no big deal? Consider this: After a four-year study of more than 21,000 nurses published in the British Medical Journal, Harvard researchers concluded that job stress can threaten a person’s health just as surely as smoking or a sedentary lifestyle.

2. According to the American Psychological Association, supervisors and heads of companies are especially vulnerable to job stress. True or false?

The correct answer is: False

Those at the top may feel a lot of pressure — and surveys show that they are likely to suffer stress-related ills such as elevated cholesterol and sleep disorders– but they probably wouldn’t want to spend a day in their secretary’s chair. As reported by the American Psychological Association, people who feel powerless in their jobs are prime targets for extreme job stress. Whether you’re a waitress, a clerk, or a middle manager, it can be extremely aggravating to lack any sense of control over your work.

3. If you feel a lack of control over your job, your only choices are putting up with it or quitting. True or false?

The correct answer is: False

Gaining a little control over your job is one of the most effective ways of preventing stress. You can start by negotiating your job description with your boss. Make sure you both agree on your responsibilities. If you can’t reach an agreement — and your job still seems untenable — then it might be time to look elsewhere for work.

4. According to NIOSH, which of these is the most effective long-term solution to on-the-job stress?

The correct answer is: c. Worker-friendly organizational changes

Relaxation exercises, vacations, and better time management can help take the edge off a stressful job. But for dramatic, long-term improvements, the job itself may have to change. According to NIOSH, employers should strive to ensure that their employees have reasonable workloads, clearly defined responsibilities, humane schedules, and a chance to participate in important decisions that affect their jobs.

5. You have a legal right to a safe working environment. True or false?

The correct answer is: True

Hazardous or unsanitary working conditions can be very stressful. If your work environment isn’t up to par, discuss it with your employer or workplace representatives. If a dangerous or life-threatening situation still goes uncorrected, contact a labor organization or the local office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
6. A healthy diet, adequate sleep, and regular exercise can help you deal with on-the-job stress. True or false?

The correct answer is: True

These steps can help you cope with any sort of stress, work-related or otherwise. Whether you love your job or are poring over “Help Wanted” ads, a healthy lifestyle can only help.

References

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Stress at work.
American Psychological Association. Stress in the workplace.
Workhealth.org A brief introduction to job strain.
CDC. Stress at Work. NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.

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