Stress Signs and Indicators

What is meant by the term ‘Stress’?

Stress according to the Health and Safety Executive is “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other demands people placed upon them”.

Stress, depression and anxiety can lead to millions of lost working days. Stress can be both positive and negative. Some pressures and challenges are good as they can help us to work more efficiently but negative stress such as undue pressure, overwork or difficult working conditions can affect our wellbeing and cause illness. Challenging events themselves are not the root cause of stress; it is the way that a person sees and thinks about an event or challenge that leads to the person feeling stressed.

The signs and indicators of stress can be separated into different categories:

Psychological or emotional: –

Anxiety, anger, depression, low self esteem, feeling helpless, sensitivity or tearfulness, irritability and indecisiveness.

Physiological or physical:-

Heart palpitations, stomach complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome, uneasiness and tension


Aggression, increased substance misuse such as smoking or alcohol, sleeping more or less, changes in eating patterns and changes to mood and consequent behaviour impacting on relationships and work

Active has a duty of care to its employees. The management team at Active need to recognise when work creates negative stresses and put systems in place to reduce this stress. Staff need to inform their manager if they have a crisis in their personal life or if they feel that they are overwhelmed with work, under-occupied or deskilled, are being bullied, have too little work or are being overworked so that their line manager can take action to prevent it having a detrimental effect on the person’s health.

Use to answer question 13.9a of the Care Certificate


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