We all know that the ideal blood pressure is 120 over 80 and a healthy cholesterol level is under 200. But, what you probably didn’t know is that a healthy stress number is 67 — I know I didn’t. In fact, until yesterday, I didn’t know what a stress number was.

However, The Oxygen Plan, a behavior change program that helps individuals and organizations reduce stress, is working to spread the word about stress numbers and how to positively manage them.

To help reduce the estimated $400 billion in stress-related health costs and productivity losses, The Oxygen Plan has created a series of simple surveys to show individuals and employers their Stress Number and help them develop an effective stress management program.

"Many organizations invest in costly resources like EAPs, work-life programs, health and wellness programs, financial management programs, and flexible work arrangements," says Dr. Donald E. Williams, chief science officer at The Oxygen Plan, who developed the Stress Number tests along with Oxygen Plan founder Eric Lucas. "But many employers are unaware of their employees' actual stress levels, how much of their stress is job-related and the root causes of their stress."

Adds Lucas: "Stress diminishes the engagement and effectiveness of a workforce, erodes workers' physical and emotional health, and drives up medical and insurance costs. Determining your organization's Stress Number can reduce healthcare costs and insurance fees, curb absenteeism and turnover rates and boost employee productivity."

Use the links above to learn both your personal and your company Stress Number. Can attaching a number be helpful in reducing employee stress, as is having numbers attached to other health information like blood pressure and cholesterol? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Also, read more from EBN on managing employee stress through massage programs, targeted interventions for women and changing your company culture.

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