Physical Activity Solutions to Decrease Occupational Stress

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal




The COVID-19 pandemic began impacting people, organizations, and industries in early 2020. In light of the changes to organizations, regulations, and workflow created by COVID-19, occupational stress has been a hot topic. Organizations have continued to examine ways to promote employee wellness throughout the pandemic while dealing with employees who are experiencing stress in the workplace and at home. The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of how organizations can promote both physical and psychological health to assist employees with their occupational and domestic duties. In light of the pandemic, one could argue that promoting a physically active lifestyle for employees has never been more important.

Occupational stress consists of the physiological and emotional responses that arise when employees feel an imbalance between the demands of their work and their capability and/or resources to meet those demands (1). Identification of specific sources of occupational stress may vary from industry to industry. However, common sources of occupational stress include excessive workload (2,3), occupational conflict (4), interpersonal relationships (2,4), and administrative interactions (2,5).

Occupational stress may lead to negative physical and psychological results. Common physical and psychological impacts from occupational stress are listed in the Table. In addition, unmanaged occupational stress may lead to employee burnout (9,10), decreased job satisfaction (11,12), increased turnover intention (11,12), increased employee absenteeism (13,14), and decreased job performance (15,16).


Georgia Southern University faculty members, Bridget Melton and Helen Bland co-authored Physical Activity Solutions to Decrease Occupational Stress.