MHLU - Health Status Resource

Stress

Stress

Key Findings: 

Stress can have many negative effects on mental and physical health including poor mental health and mental illness, as well contribute to the development of heart disease and other chronic conditions.1 Understanding the percent of people who feel a lot of stress in their work or life each day may give some indication of those in the community who are vulnerable to chronic conditions and other health issues. Reported life stress in those who were employed was significantly higher than those who were not employed. This may be affected by the proportion of individuals who are retired in the not employed category, however slightly lower rates of stress were seen in not employed, even when retired individuals were removed.

About one in five of the population in Middlesex-London aged 15 and older (22.0%) reported life as quite or extremely stressful. Related to work, 24.8% of those aged 20 to 64 reported most days at work were quite or extremely stressful. There were no significant differences seen between Middlesex-London and Ontario or the Peer Group (Figure 6.4.1).

Those 65 years and older reported a much lower rate of life stress (10.5%) than those in younger age groups such as 45–64 years (29.0%) and 18–44 years (22.3%). This difference was statistically significant (Figure 6.4.2).

Those who were employed (26.2%) indicated that their life stress was quite or extremely high at a significantly higher rate than those who were not employed (14.4%) (Figure 6.4.3).

The “not employed” category included respondents who were retired. Those who were retired had a much lower percent reporting being quite or extremely stressed. However, those not employed (but also not retired) did not have significantly different levels of stress from those who were employed.

Interpretation:
Research has shown that those overloaded at work and at home, with family, showed increased stress.2 Further, those with high stress at work were seen to have higher overall stress. Similar results were found in Middlesex-London results where those who were employed reported higher life stress than those not employed. It should be noted that stress experienced by those looking for work is likely also high.

Ontario Public Health Standard: 

Ontario Public Health Standards: Requirements for Programs, Services, and Accountability – Chronic Disease Prevention and Well-Being (page 28)

Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol, 2018

References: 

1. Health Canada [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): Health Canada; [modified 2019 Apr 25]. Mental health – coping with stress; [modified 2008 Jan 7; cited 2019 Apr 18]; [about 6 screens]. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/healthy-living/your-heal...

2. Duxbury L, Stevenson M, Higgins C. Too much to do, too little time: Role overload and stress in a multi-role environment. International Journal of Stress Management [Internet]. 2018 Aug [cited 2019 May 28];25(3):250–66. Available from: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2017-12034-001?doi=1

3. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health [Internet]. Toronto (ON): Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; c2019. Stress [cited 2019 May 28]; [About 5 screens]. Available from: https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/st...

4. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety [Internet]. Ottawa (ON). Government of Canada. Workplace Stress – General. [modified 2019 May 28; cited 2019 May 28]; [About 8 screens]. Available from: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/psychosocial/stress.html

Last modified on: July 9, 2019

Jargon Explained

Stress
Can be normal in response to certain pressures and demands that occur in everyday life. Chronic stress can lead to poor health including mental health problems and medical issues.3

Work stress
The harmful physical and emotional effects when conflict exists between the demands on the job and the employee’s control over meeting the demands.4