Stress is the number one lifestyle risk factor, ranking above physical inactivity and obesity among Indian employees , a new study suggests.

According to the inaugural Asia Pacific edition of the Staying@Work survey conducted by global professional services company Towers Watson, while Indian employers lead their regional counterparts in developing strategies to manage work-related stress, only 38 percent identified improving the emotional/mental health of employees (i.e. lessening the stress and anxiety) as a top priority of their health and productivity programs.

This signals a vast scope for improvement in strategic initiatives aimed at tackling stress among Indian employees.

Globally, the causes of poor health are remarkably similar; however, the tools, abilities and resources needed to address these vary greatly across regions.

Nonetheless, multiple issues related to stress are driving the need for a greater organisational commitment that extends beyond employees’ physical and mental health; one that encompasses the work environment, culture and interpersonal relationships that connect employees to the mission and goals of the organisation.

The 2013 Towers Watson Global Benefits Attitudes Survey highlights that the main sources of stress for employees across the globe are tied to their experience at the workplace.

Anuradha Sriram
Stress is directly linked to physical and emotional health – important contributing factors to workplace performance.

In a challenging economic scenario, where companies are stretched to balance costs and maximise productivity, employers need to identify specific triggers that impact employee wellness, engagement and in turn productivity – failing which, they run the risk of diverting time and resources to fixing non-critical issues and alienating their workforce at the same time.