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imagesCAXN5ME0Amid the highest unemployment rate in recent decades and massive job losses around the country, most workers feel happy to at least be employed. What they aren’t feeling, however, is healthy. One in three workers has at least one symptom of clinical depression; 41% say they feel stressed sometimes, often, or very often; and one in five has trouble falling asleep often or very often. In all, 14% are being treated for high cholesterol and one in five is taking blood-pressure-lowering medication.

In fact, the percentage of workers who say they’re in excellent health has dropped from 34% in 2002 to 28% in 2008, according to a report recently released by the Families and Work Institute (FWI), a nonprofit research company.  And, 74% of physician office visits are related to stress-induced symptoms.

Why?  How?  What is going on? 

Headache, runny nose, itchy eyes and more!  Is this related to the cold and flu season, or are you well at home and sick at work?  You may have what is known as Sick Building Syndrome?   How do you know if you live or work in a ‘sick building’?   The facts tell us that some of your symptoms might be due to the physical infrastructure and upholstery of the building you work in. or the HVAC system.  Other factors contributing to sick building syndrome might include chemical fumes from things such as carpeting, office supplies like printers, computers, and desks. Depending on the type of work going on in the building, this risk could be higher for chemical problems. There also may be outdoor pollutants contributing from busy city streets or industrial parks, as well as biological contaminants in the building structure such as mold, mildew, dust mites, pollen and viruses.

Productivity is compromised; safety is a challenge because our workforce is virtually unwell.  And, we can do something about it. We can take a zero tolerance approach!  How sick is your workplace, and what will you do about it?