New research from Priceline has found that 95% of Australian women are experiencing stress – and for one in five it’s multiple times a day
However, 59% of women have never consulted a health professional about managing their stress, and 15% don’t even know who to ask for help, the research shows.
Priceline Pharmacist Jeyda Shiaxiates says it is no surprise that such a large percentage of women are feeling the pressure of life, but the lack of knowledge around its health impact is concerning.
“The research found that most women recognise that stress has an impact on health, but only half knew that stress reduces your body’s immune response, and only 47% were aware that stress impacts heart health. With heart disease the second highest cause of death amongst Australian women, this is a concern.
Priceline Pharmacy health stations now include a medically reviewed stress test to help better manage and monitor stress.
General practitioner and new Priceline Pharmacy Health Expert Dr Preeya Alexander says that far too often her patients don’t fully understand the impact that stress can have on their body; the key is monitoring triggers for stress and keeping stress, if possible, at manageable levels.
“Severe persistent stress can take a toll on your body and brain over time. Stress can contribute to several health issues such as migraines, insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression.
“Stress can also negatively impact the immune system. The goal of stress management is not to necessarily get rid of it completely, but rather to manage it.
“Along with simple lifestyle changes (such as maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and limiting caffeine and alcohol intake) speaking to a health professional like a Pharmacist or GP can definitely help,” she says.
In addition to the research, Priceline Pharmacy followed a focus group of women to gauge their stress levels during a typical week.
The banner group says that the results aligned with its research and showed that even seemingly ‘normal’, everyday activities resulted in the participants’ stress levels surging.
The research also showed that:
- Young mums are feeling it most: mothers with young children are more likely to feel stressed or under pressure compared to those with adult children
- Work is a big trigger: Nearly nine in 10 working women in Australia, approximately 4.4 million working individuals, have at least one work life stressor. The most common work life stressor is workload (40%), followed by balancing work and home (35%) and job insecurity (31%)
- Currently women in Victoria report feeling stressed or under pressure most frequently with 78% of respondents reporting they feel stress at least once a week.
- Symptoms of stress in most: Nearly half of women (49%) report suffering from aches and pains, followed by 48% who say they suffer from sleep problems, and 40% who suffer from weight problems
- Stress management is not a priority: 21% of women say that managing their stress levels is less important compared to their other priorities.