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The Stress Number(TM) Report for April 2011

In an ongoing study of Stress in America, The Oxygen Plan reports April findings of the new health metric, The Stress Number™. Since September 2009, over 49,000 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 employee stress is almost $5,000 per employee and manifests in absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover, group health expense, productivity and employee engagement.

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 April 2011 findings of the new health metric – the Stress Number™. To date, over 49,000 respondents have completed the 30 question, 5 minute 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 April Findings: “Still Stressed But Heading In The Right Direction”
A total of 2,942 respondents completed The Oxygen Plan’s Stress Test in April. The resulting Stress Number™ for home is 49, followed by work and social stress at 54 for both dimensions. “Clearly, scores are in the yellow – indicating there is a lot of stress out there. Overall, the Stress Number™ for each life dimension, home, work and social, has deteriorated since we initiated this study in September 2009,” says Dr. Donald E. Williams, board-certified clinical health psychologist (American Board of Professional Psychology/ABPP), and Chief Science Officer, The Oxygen Plan. “Having said that, these are the best Stress Number™ scores that we have seen in recent months for home, work and social stress and find the data slightly encouraging.” Versus last month, the Stress Number™ scores for home, work and social stress were improved by 3, 2, and 1 point. “This is the first time we have ever seen an across the board improvement. The 3 point jump in the home Stress Number™ is the best single month improvement since we have been conducting our research.” Combined, the Stress Number™ 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 employee stress affecting an organization’s workforce. Three new research papers from The Oxygen Plan Corporation urge employers to learn the Stress Number™ for their employees and employee groups to help them develop an effective stress management program and how to optimize their Employee Assistance 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. “These are essential but reactive initiatives. Many organizations are unaware of their employees’ actual stress levels, how much of their stress is job-related, the root causes of their stress, or that they can be proactive in terms of addressing the very real problems and associated costs.” “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 Lucas. “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 employee Stress Number™ for their organization and get a line of sight into root causes.”

About The Oxygen Plan 
The Oxygen Plan is a revolutionary new behavior change program designed to help employees recognize and reduce stress, live healthier, happier lives while helping employers lower health care costs, improve productivity and strengthen employee engagement. The Oxygen Plan, co-developed by Dr. Donald E. Williams, board-certified clinical health psychologist (American Board of Professional Psychology/ABPP), and Chief Science Officer and Founder, Eric Lucas, is the only stress reduction program to use a patent-pending green, yellow, red color coding to easily facilitate stress recognition and behavior change for individuals and organizations. The Oxygen Plan is also the home of the Stress Number™, the new health metric, and first to quantify stress levels. For more information visit

Published by Prweb, Jul 1, 2011:

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