Web Exclusive: Study reveals where we stress the most

Web Exclusive

(CNN) - If you think about what causes more stress in our lives-- home or work, many might say the logical answer is work, right?  Well, according to a new study, that may not be the case.  The research was done by a group of Penn State researchers and just released by the council on contemporary families, a non-profit group based at the University of Miami.
The study suggests that people actually experience more stress at home than at work.  Researchers tested the cortisol levels of workers.  Cortisol is a major indicator of stress level.  What the researchers found was that people have significantly lower levels of stress at work than at home.  
The results show that women get more of what they call "renewal" from their work than men. Women reported finding more happiness at work than home.  And here's the interesting part -- these results held up when looking at either couples who are parents or couples without kids.  

The study found that both parents and non-parents reported having lower stress levels at work than home.  The only difference -- parents did not experience as big of a decrease in the difference between home and work stress levels as the non-parents.  There may be two logical explanations for this -- first, for some, work has become an escape from home life and second, work serves as an integral part of many people's pride -- which brings them happiness.

So what if you are feeling stressed out at home?  The researchers said, if people are experiencing conflict at home, that cutting back on hours at the office or quitting your job, may not be the answer.  Instead, they say, companies should consider instituting family friendly policies -- like telecommuting and paid maternity leave, for example, that will quote -- "allow workers to continue getting the health benefits of employment while still being able to meet their family responsibilities."


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