1. The problem is not the acute stress reaction itself. The harm comes from the build up of numerous acute stress reactions over time. The average inactive knowledge based worker in the U.S. probably has thousands of these every day. The effect of this build-up is called chronic stress. It results from the accumulation of powerful stress hormones – specifically adrenaline and cortisol. Chronic stress is the bottom line stress problem for us humans.

    It is astounding to think that seven out of ten of the most popular prescriptions that doctors routinely prescribe are to help counteract various ailments related to chronic stress. Almost 100 million people in this country take medication for a stress related illness including depression, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, and hypertension. The American Medical Association states that 80 – 90% percent of all physical illnesses have some stress-related component.

    There are legitimate reasons for using drugs for these problems – especially where genetic factors come into play – such as hypertension and high cholesterol. However, the root of today’s stress epidemic is our inactive lifestyle. It simply no longer calls for the intense stress reactions that our bodies produce.

    Costs associated with chronic stress

    American businesses suffer an estimated $600 billion a year in stress-related productivity losses or about $15 thousand per employee.   

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