SCU looking for volunteers for stress study

SOUTHERN Cross University are looking for people experiencing high levels of work stress to participate in a new study investigating the effect of B vitamins in the management of stress.

The study is being undertaken by SCU researcher Professor Stephen Myers, Director of the NatMed-Research Unit and clinical trial coordinator Shelley Robinson, in collaboration with Professor Con Stough at the Swinburne University of Technology which is leading the project.

Professor Myers said the study would look at whether a B vitamin complex can help deal with stress.

"This is a simple, safe and inexpensive nutritional medicine and may be part of the real answer to reducing the burden of stress that effects the Australian community," he said.

"Work stress is very real and Australians are very stressed. Australians work longer hours than workers in most Western countries, averaging 44 to 45 hours per week. In one study of 8,000 Australian workers, more than half (54%) agreed with the statement that 'more and more is expected of me for the same amount of pay."

Professor Myers said estimates put the cost of stress in the workplace to the Australian economy at $14.81 billion each year.

"This is a huge amount and reflects the seriousness of the condition. All indications suggest that we haven't reached the pinnacle with the burden of stress that has been steadily increasing over the past decade.

"Stress not only has high financial costs but it also has a high personal cost. It has been associated with many chronic diseases and problem behaviours. A Scandinavian study estimated that work stress increases the risk of heart disease by 50 per cent.

"This is why we need simple, safe and inexpensive approaches, like B vitamins, to be scientifically tested to determine if they are really effective."

NatMed-Research is seeking 60 participants in full-time work for the B vitamins and stress study.

Participants need to be able to travel to the University's Lismore campus.

To participate or find out more, contact Shelley Robinson by email at stress@scu.edu.au or by calling or sending a text message to 0419 098 018.

The trial is being sponsored by Blackmores.