Healthy Working


Rebekah Schipper and Joshua Leo look at stress and pressure at work. They also look at ways to relieve this pressure.

Transcript


Voice 1

Thank you for joining us for today’s Spotlight. I’m Rebekah Schipper.

Voice 2

And I’m Joshua Leo. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1

Stress, the pressure of life, pushing down on our minds, bodies and emotions. It makes us angry. It can make us tired. It can even harm our bodies. One of the most common reasons for stress is work. Something that all people do.

Today’s Spotlight is on healthy work behaviour.

Voice 2

Dan and Sam were in a good relationship. They had been dating for a while. One day they decided to move away from their home in the United Kingdom. Sam quit her job to prepare for the move. Dan worked more during the week to make enough money to move. He worked every day.

Voice 1

Dan had no time to do the things he wanted. He did not have time to rest. His head often hurt. And when Dan did return home at night, he could not quickly rest. Dan said,

Voice 3

“I was very tired. But when I got home I would not be able to rest. I would have to stay awake until I could calm down. I was able to do this for the four months, but could not have done it any longer.”

Voice 2

Sam noticed that their relationship was suffering.

Voice 4

“The hours Dan was working would change from day to day. But he would never come home before nine or ten at night. Things were not easy. I found myself getting angry. I would shout at him because he was at work ... He was getting very tired all the time. He was getting sick. He is not as fit and healthy as he used to be.”

Voice 1

Today, Dan and Sam are doing much better. They moved to New Zealand and are happy with their new life. But Dan was not alone in his work behaviour. Scientists have found that around twelve million [12,000,000] people in Britain put work before their friends and family. The experts also say, those numbers are increasing.

Voice 2

But Britain is not the only place where people work too much. Working too much, and stress from work, is also a serious problem in Japan. In Japan, it is common for people to work twelve hours a day. Workers usually have up to thirty [30] days of paid time away from work. But many people only use five or six of these days.

Voice 1

This work pressure causes problems for people. More people have been dying at work. And the Japanese Labor Ministry says more people have been killing themselves because of stress at work. The Japanese call it Karoshi, meaning death by working too much.

Voice 2

Scientists have known for a long time that stress can cause health problems. But recently, they have found a clear connection between work stress and metabolic syndrome. The researchers found that people with high levels of work stress are much more likely to suffer from high blood pressure. Work stress also increases the chances of having high cholesterol levels in the blood. Both these problems lead to other health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Voice 1

Researchers also found that these health problems can become more dangerous on particular days. A Japanese study shows that a person’s blood pressure is higher on Monday mornings. This is the day that most people return to work. The stress of a new week of work can be dangerous for some people. In the United Kingdom twenty [20] percent more people have heart attacks on Monday mornings. If a person already has heart problems, the stress of returning to work may push them to have a heart attack.

Voice 2

Work is a necessary part of life. There are things a person can do to reduce stress at his job. These suggestions come from the BBC.

First, balance your work-life. Here are some ways to do that.

Voice 1

Make lists to stay organized. This helps to plan the work-day.

Voice 2

Be realistic with your goals. Do not say something will take ten [10] minutes if it will take an hour. This will help you work better with other people at your job.

Voice 1

Get others to help. Sharing work duties can make work less stressful.

Voice 2

And take some time away from work. This may be just a few minutes, hours or even a few days. Taking time away from work helps you to concentrate on your work!

Voice 1

The second way to reduce stress from work is to get more sleep. Often, people cannot sleep because of the stress. Here are some ways to improve your sleep behavior.

Voice 2

Before you go to sleep write down what you need to do the next day. Worrying about the next day can affect your sleep.

Voice 1

Do something calming and enjoyable before you sleep. This can help you to stop worrying.

Voice 2

At night, do not drink coffee, or other drinks that contain the chemical caffeine. They will prevent you from sleeping well.

Voice 1

The third way to reduce stress from work is to avoid it. Here are some ways to avoid stress.

Voice 2

Learn what causes you stress. Maybe it is sudden changes, or social situations. Knowing what causes you stress helps you solve the problem.

Voice 1

Talk to someone you trust about your problems. Sharing your worries and problems can help.

Voice 2

Take time to be calm. Stretch your body. Take deep breaths. Listen to calming music. This can reduce stress.

Voice 1

Think good thoughts. Thinking that something may go wrong, makes stress worse. Do not worry about the things that you cannot control.

Voice 2

And finally, eat healthy food and exercise. A healthy body helps the mind to stay healthy as well.

Voice 1

Christians believe it is good to share your stress with God. He will help us in difficult times.

Voice 2

Work is an important part of life. We work to support ourselves and the people we love. Our jobs should make our lives better, not worse. And most importantly, our jobs should never harm our health. What can you do today to reduce stress in your job? How can you make work less stressful for other people too?

Voice 1

The writer and producer of this program was Joshua Leo. The voices you heard were from the United States. All quotes have been adapted for this program. Computer users can hear our programs, read our scripts, and see our word list on our website at http://www.radio.english.net. This program is called “Healthy Working”.

Voice 2

We love to hear comments and questions from our listeners. If you have a comment or question, you can e-mail us. Our e-mail address is radio @ english . net. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye!

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