Research proves that high levels of stress lead to negative health behaviors among healthcare professionals.
Researchers measured stress and health behaviors, such as exercise, nutrition, and sleep, by examining the results of series of five annual surveys administered to employees at Mayo Clinic who had access to a wellness center. The study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, showed a significant relationship between the stress levels of an employee and four quality of life domains:
- Poor physical health
- Low mental health
- Poor nutritional habits
- Lower perceived overall health
Employees who reported the high stress levels and perceived poor quality of life also reported the lowest usage of wellness programs.
Mayo’s latest study linking burnout and high stress levels to poor health behaviors among healthcare workers also found that those with lower stress levels used the wellness center more often, and frequently engaged in other physical activity.
Workers reporting lower stress levels used the center about two to three times per week on average, indicting they were meeting the recommended goal of engaging in physical activity most days per week.
Those who reported levels of high stress averaged about one wellness center visit per week. And those with three years or more of high stress averaged only 68 usage days per year. The study concluded that “Increasing the awareness of wellness centers and programs in medical environments will increase the quality of life of employees and lead to less physician and staff burnout.”