Cigna has launched a campaign that aims to raise awareness of stress.
The “See Stress Differently” campaign encourages people to talk to their medical professional about stress and create a clear plan for people to better manage stress and its side effects.
A survey by Cigna found a quarter (25%) of people admitted to stress eating while 14% thought that alcohol reduces their stress levels.
Only 14% would speak to a medical professional when feeling stressed, preferring to talk to their partner (46%), family (32%) or friends (29%).
The survey also showed that 43% of people prefer to deal with their stress in private rather than seeking medical advice.
When professional medical advice is avoided, lesser known physical symptoms of stress can often go undiagnosed. The symptoms least likely to be recognised as stress-related are backache (29%), blurred eyesight or sore eyes (33%) and indigestion or heartburn (46%).
Only one in 10 Britons have taken a sick day off due to stress-related issues in the last year, but felt they were unable to admit the real reason for doing so – with the majority (64%) either claiming they have a physical illness, or not giving a reason at all.
Phil Austin, Cigna Europe’s chief executive, said: “We can’t hide from the fact that the workplace is a stressful place to be, but what we can do is give managers and employees the tools to manage their stress in a structured and engaging way.”