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Stress is something we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives, with our careers being one of the most common triggers of these feelings of extreme strain.

Job related stress can originate from a variety of sources, from tight deadlines to long working hours and even intimidating bosses.

But, there are jobs that have higher levels of stress than others, and they may just surprise you.

A recent, small scale study commissioned by Pharma Dynamics has shed light on which jobs you're most likely to tear your hair out at.

The results, featured in a stress management article titled South Africa's Most Stressful Jobs Revealed, prove that the common corporate-related jobs aren’t even among the top four most stressful positions.

Written in collaboration with Hippo.co.za, here is a breakdown:

The study polled 2 000 respondents from over 40 different professional backgrounds about the mental and physical demands of their careers.

Respondents were also asked to rate their job according to the trials and tribulations they often encounter.

These were:

  • the required travelling involved
  • deadlines to be met
  • the amount of time spent in the public eye
  • being subject to public commentary
  • the amount of exposure to conflict-related situations
  • the risks linked to the job.

A doctor is one career with the best known statistics around stress levels worldwide.

Yet it is only the ninth most stressful job in South Africa.

The results suggest that the daily tasks of a nurse are more demanding than those of a doctor, with the former the fifth most stressful job in South Africa.

So what are South Africa's most stressful jobs? Regardless of the luxurious perks such as seeing new places and getting free airline tickets for their family, the most straining career is a pilot’s.

They are tasked with keeping a plane airborne for tremendously long, consecutive hours, and dealing with weather conditions.

Then there is also the pressure of getting passengers safely to their destinations.

Sitting a cut below piloting is hairdressing.

Despite being known as a job that is easy to do and is a sort of “fallback” job, hairdressing is the second most stressful job.

This is attributed to long periods of standing up leading to long-term back pain, and the pressure placed on hairdressers by clients to get their hair styled correctly.

When you think about living on a farm, you think of beauty and serenity.

But this trade also has a less pleasant side.

As the third most stressful job, farmers claim it’s due to seasonally fluctuating business, the ongoing drought, and our weak economy.

The complete list appears as follows:

  • Pilot
  • Hair stylist
  • Farmer
  • Film director
  • Nurse
  • Police officer
  • Corporate executive
  • CEO
  • Doctor
  • Singer

There are studies that show stress can actually be good for you since it can boost your efficiency and motivate you to work harder.

However, if you don't keep your stress under control and it becomes a habit, it can take a heavy toll on your health.

The negative effects of stress can include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), eczema, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.

Some of these conditions, such as heart disease and high-blood pressure, can, in turn, affect the rates you pay for a Life Insurance policy in the future.







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