Early Morning Remains Hot Spot for Worker Stress

21 Feb, 2023 Chriss Swaney


Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) -- A new national survey reports that 7:23 a.m. is the most stressful part of the work day for adults. And Cecile Usner, an insurance adjuster, can relate to early morning stress as she begins her mad dash each morning to her cramped home attic office. 

“I am working from home, but I still have to dump the trash, walk the dog, get breakfast and rush the kids off to school, ‘’ said Usner of Mt. Lebanon, Pa. “Mornings are crazy, so the stress level for me is off the charts,’’ she added.

In New Haven, Conn., Matthew Chapman, a health industry worker, said he frets about having enough gas in his car, the morning traffic jams, finding a parking spot and how much voicemail he will face when he arrives at work. “I also worry about weeding through all my emails and getting them answered in a timely matter,’’ said Chapman, who admits his stress level is at its peak at 8 a.m.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Rescue Remedy, asked 2,000 adult participants to reveal what time of the day was the most stressful at work. Although most people report their most severe stress levels at the benchmark 7:23 a.m., most morning stress does not occur until 8 a.m.

According to the survey, most female participants encounter their first stress at 7:50 a.m., while men experience their severe stress at about 8:43 a.m.

Medical experts warn that work should not be confused with overwork at the expense of relationships and physical health. Unchecked workplace stress can lead to stomach ulcers, heart attacks and mental health issues.

The survey found that the biggest inconvenience for morning people is getting stuck in traffic, followed by spilling something on their clothes, dropping something or waking up late for work. While 35 percent of the respondents feel these encounters are just part of life, 24 percent find it difficult to calm down after experiencing one or more of these events. In fact, 50 percent of women and 32 percent of men report being kept at wake at night thinking about everyday annoyances.

Often morning stressors are caused by being tired, reports 46 percent of the survey respondents. To make themselves feel better after experiencing one or more of these daily pain points, respondents said going for a walk helps, as does listening to music and spending time alone.

Usner said she likes to go to her friend’s pink Himalyan salt cave. “It really helps to be alone in this quiet place,’’ according to Usner, who also walks her neighbors dogs for exercise.

Sara Hargreaves of Scribe Fine Papers in Pittsburgh, Pa. said her stress levels are high all day as she handles tricky deadline wedding invitation requests. “This is the month from hell as I get slammed with requests, but when I go home I try to calm down,’’ said Hargreaves.

The American Institute on Stress reports that 33 percent of all workers experience some kind of stress daily and that 77 of those respondents experience severe stress. 

A 2021 World Health Organization study found that overwork killed more than 745,000 people through stroke and heart attacks.

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    About The Author

    • Chriss Swaney

      Chriss Swaney is a freelance reporter who has written for Antique Trader Magazine, Reuters, The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, the Burlington Free Press, UPI, The Tribune-Review and the Daily Record.

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