The Stress Number(TM) Report for March 2011

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In an ongoing study of Stress in America, The Oxygen Plan reports March findings of The New Health Metric, The Stress Number™. Since September 2009, over 42,000 respondents have completed the revolutionary online Stress Test by The Oxygen Plan Corporation to measure their home, work and social stress. The annual economic impact of stress is almost $5,000 per employee and manifests in group health expense, productivity and employee engagement.

Stress Test - The Oxygen Plan

Employee stress drains $400 billion a year from U.S. employers-almost $5,000 per employee. It manifests in lost productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism, group health expense, employee turnover and disability expense.

Employee stress drains $400 billion a year from U.S. employers--yet many organizations do not fully understand the damage stress causes to their profit margins, employee productivity levels and employee health. In an ongoing study of Stress in America, The Oxygen Plan Corporation reports the March 2011 findings of the new health metric - The Stress Number™. To date, over 42,000 respondents have completed the 30 question The Oxygen Plan Stress Test to assess their individual stress. The stress test has 10 questions for home, work and social stress. The scoring for each question ranges 0 - 100, whereby a score of 0 means extreme stress (red), to 100, meaning stress free (green).

Key March Findings: “More Stress at Home"
Basis 1,984 respondents to The Oxygen Plan’s Stress Test, the March Stress Number™ for home, work and social stress are 46, 52 and 53, respectively. “Clearly, scores are toward the lower end of the scale. This is especially true for the home domain,” says Dr. Donald E. Williams, board-certified clinical health psychologist (American Board of Professional Psychology/ABPP), and Chief Science Officer, The Oxygen Plan. "So, there is bad news – as a group, scores are low. While still yellow, the home score, in particular, reflects a downward trend. Perhaps, as one might expect, the stresses of work, the economy and dwindling social support are showing up at home. Combined, the scores indicate stress, and its ill effects on our home, work and social lives, and on and our health, remains a serious issue."

A "Stress Number™" can also be an aggregated measure of the stress affecting an organization's workforce. Two new research papers from The Oxygen Plan urge employers to learn the Stress Number™ for their employees and employee groups to help them develop an effective stress management program.

The impact of stress in the U.S. workplace is bad news for employers as it manifests in lost productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism, group health expense, employee turnover and disability expenses. "Many organizations invest in resources like EAPs, work-life programs and policies, and health and wellness programs," said Dr. Williams, "but many are unaware of their employees' actual stress levels, how much of their stress is job-related or the root causes of their stress." "Stress diminishes the engagement and effectiveness of a workforce, erodes workers' physical and emotional health, and drives up medical and insurance costs," adds Eric Lucas, CEO of The Oxygen Plan Corporation.

“With the Stress Number™, it is now possible to measure, compute, aggregate, report, and trend a stress metric as it relates to personal health or organizational cost,” says Dr. Williams. “Now, we are able to assess stress, calculate the Stress Number™, provide The Oxygen Plan program and re-measure stress for individuals or organizations. The Stress Number™ is a significant development in the field of health metrics.” “We feel the Stress Number™ should be used to help individuals and organizations manage health and health care costs – just like blood pressure and BMI," adds Eric Lucas, Founder and CEO of The Oxygen Plan. “Because stress in the home or social life impacts employees at work, and vice versa, it's in employers' best interest to know the aggregate Stress Number™ for their employee populations and get a line of sight into root causes.”

About The Oxygen Plan
The Oxygen Plan is a new patent-pending behavior change program designed to help people recognize and reduce stress, live healthier, happier lives while helping employers lower health care costs and improve productivity and employee engagement. The Oxygen Plan, co-developed by Eric Lucas and Dr. Williams, is the only stress reduction program to use a simple green, yellow, red color coding to easily facilitate stress recognition and behavior change for individuals and organizations. For more information visit http://www.theoxygenplan.com.

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