Work is the third biggest concern for NZers after fiances and time pressures

Kiwis spend more than one week each year worrying – and work is one of our top concerns.


A new study has found New Zealander’s spend from half an hour to two hours each day worrying – that’s more than a week of constant worry over the course of a year.


Work was a major cause of concern for those surveyed and came in as the third biggest issue at 41.34 percent.


Finances topped the list at 75.42 percent and nearly 50 percent of people were worried about having enought time to get everything done.


The survey of 835 people was carried out by Active+ – one of New Zealand’s largest rehabilitation organisations.


Active+ director Corne Mackie, who is also a clinical psychologist, said there were five factors at work that lead to worry.


The physical environment:  Uncomfortable conditions like extreme temperatures, noise or poor lightning, or not having access to the resources of tools needed can lead to stress. 


The culture: A bullying or blaming culture is especially stressful, so is one where there is no clear sense of direction, or people have little control over their work activities.  


Relationships: Both with management and co-workers, relationships can be sources of stress.  One of the best predictors of being happy in the workplace is to have supportive relationships. 


Work conditions: For example, having unrealistic demand or deadlines, or the opposite where skill sets are under used, and there are unclear reporting lines and accountability. 


Trauma: Traumatic events in the course of work, like emergency service, military, or disaster teams can cause stress.


Mackie said the younger workforce was facing greater uncertainty and rapid change resulting in “millennial burnout.”


“However, a positive change is that younger employees, along with legislative change, are holding employers more accountable for managing stress in the workplace,” she told Yudu.  


Mackie said more mature workers worried about keeping up with ever changing technology.



“There is worry around…  keeping up with a fast-changing environment and threat of job loss to technology, and a pressure to enhance their skill set and relevance.”   


As well as work, finances and time pressures the study also broke down the types of health issues bothering New Zealanders.


Anxiety and stress topped the list of health concerns, followed by excess weight and then depression  


The survey also found that Kiwis like to use Google to research symptoms. 


Depression was far ahead at 13.47 percent, followed by back pain (2.59), cancer (2.59 percent), fatigue (2.59 percent), toothache (2.59 percent), and rashes (2.07 percent).


Despite the prominence of anxiety in the responses, the survey did find that New Zealanders are generally proactive when it comes to dealing with stress. 


To combat stress Kiwis listed spending time with friends/family (58.10 percent), exercise (53.63 precent), hobbies (26.26 percent), talking to a professional (21.23 percent), meditation (12.29 percent) and yoga (8.38 percent).


Mackie said it was normal to be anxious and to worry from time to time. 


“It’s part of a completely natural set of emotions, so we would never want to talk about eliminating it entirely,” she said. 


“It’s how you manage it that is important.”


If work was a major on-going concern it was important to resolve any issues or take steps to relieve work stress.


Taking a break during the day, incorporating exercise or talking things over with co-workers was recommended.


Top New Zealand Worries 


Finances = 75.42 percent

Having enough time to get everything done = 49.16 percent

Work = 41.34 percent

Relationships = 39.66 percent

Appearance = 34.08 percent



Top New Zealand Health Worries


Stress/anxiety = 76 percent

Excess weight = 41.49 percent

Depression = 39.89 percent

Fatigue = 38.83 percent

Headaches = 34.57 percent



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