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Stress

Clearer Understanding of the Stress Phenomenon

Clearer Understanding of the Stress Phenomenon.
The word stress has been used al lot nowadays. To us stress means something that puts pressure on some part of our life. However this is just a small piece in the puzzle. Stress is an explanatory factor in numerous personal or social problems. In other words Stress is the normal response of your body to any change. We feel it when we pass from a warm to a cold room, when we run for a bus. Stress prepares us for change by pumping adrenaline into your system. In this process our muscles get tense, our heart pounds, our blood pressure rises. We use this mechanism for adapting and surviving.
However if this response is constantly triggered and surpasses illness or even death may follow. We as humans cannot avoid stress, we can nonetheless learn to use to our advantage. Many people have numerous problems that occurred from stress. Problems like cholesterol, insomnia, high blood pressure, and stomach ulcers, chronic back pain and other very serious and fatal diseases. However you can learn to make life easy for yourself by many stress management techniques such as breathing right, eating right, exercising, and using relaxation techniques.
In the early 19th century, scientists tried to explain the phenomena of how humans are affected by our surroundings and daily activities. Claude Bernard was one of those scientists that tried to prove the body”s motions during a stress related event. He emphasized how the underlying conditions affect free and in depended life. He said “every living animal tends to maintain a state of internal stability in spite of changes in the external environment”. Scientist Walter Cannon was another pioneer in the studies of psychology that gave his work recognition in today”s society.

He concluded from his work that animals or primate men, when confronted by danger to their internal equilibrium, would either prepare to fight or to take flight. However it took the work of Hans Selye to provide clearer understanding of the stress phenomenon. He noted that various factors like chills, traumas, and infections produced a stereotyped syndrome characterized by hypertrophy and hyperactivity. Then in 1950 he introduced the symptoms as “stress”. Today we still don”t have the unanimous definition of the term stress. Many people give different definitions to the word.
Some give it the meaning that is, the group of biochemical changes, which typically occur in the organism when the internal equilibrium is threatened. Others psychologists use the term “stress” to talk of a stimulus. There are many psychological reactions to stress. These biochemical reactions may be benign, but in some cases they alter the body”s functioning to the point of inducing illness or death. Many of the reactions are well known like the heart rate increases, muscles tend to contract and a lot of the time perspiration increases.
All of these reactions are very little for importance. Emotional and behavioral reactions to stress are often more apparent than psychological reactions since everyone could see. That”s why when a human being reacts to a stimulus you can see if he or she laughs cries, jumps. Emotions and behaviors due to culture vary, personality varies and time period always changes. Another very important criteria that help define stress are the present of stimuli or other agents that make us react to stress. However this criterion varies because of different traits that the human being may have.
Many laboratories testing on humans have been done to show that humans react to different stimuli in different ways. Humans in many testing were subjected to loud noises or sometimes would be shown stimuli like a dog barking or even a snake. All of these things were great stimuli”s that affected the human in different ways. Stress may not be triggered by all the stimuli to which we are exposed but by the action of certain psychological factors, which make us perceive certain stimuli as dangerous, or threatening to life. Also perceptions of danger depend on many things.
For example, past experiences, cognitive expectations which is the way you interpret the situation, personality, and your emotional factors. Many researchers have found several general rules that depict stress agents. One is that pervious experiences of stress agents diminish the stress felt. It has also shown that the greater the stimulation the greater the stress felt. Another stimuli is emotions. With the increase of emotional intensity of an experience the lower the stress level becomes. However the stress level can never be at zero because that means that you”re dead.
When a person has a very low stress level it isn”t good. Low levels of stress can cause symptoms similar to those of intense stress. Many researchers use the word stress to describe not only reactions that humans or animals give off, but also the many internal pressures that provoke these reactions. Another name for this is “stress agent”. Hans Selye defined the stress agent as any demand made on the mind or body. Some people think that only life threatening situations are stressful for human beings. I personally believe that stress has to do with the individual person and how he perceives the stressor.
Stress agents can be negative or positive, pleasant or unpleasant. Some say that anticipation of an event is more stressful then the actual event. One example of this is skydiving. When you get to specific height and you have to jump you become so stressed that you are afraid to jump. Even if you know you won”t die. On the other hand an unexpected occurrence can cause greater stress on a person. Like a car accident can cause great stress because of amnesia or sometimes even comas. When a human is stressed it is being in a state of psychological alert. This provides a better perception of danger.
When confronted with a dangerous situation we as humans think of two things that we can do flight or fight. We use fight when we want to defend ourselves, or flight when we want to live or survive the danger by not interfering with it. However a very high level of activation can bring about a state of physical or psychological distress. In today”s world fight or flight response is very useful. It can help us to escape a fire or survive a disaster. When the body prepares for a fight or flight response, the adrenal gland releases hormones into the body, increasing the heart rate as well as the blood pressure.
In many cases digestion stops eyesight is sharpened and muscles tense. Stress doesn”t only cause physical illness but also mental illness. Some symptoms are benign and common but such as fatigue and muscles however too much stress can bring on depression and even schizophrenia. According to Epstein moderate stress can help achieve self-concept. However heavy stress can rapidly unbalance self concept functions like threat to physical integrity and loss of self-esteem. He defined many of these functions as “maintaining new experiential data and maintaining self esteem.
If an imbalance occurs, the individual may become defensive in order to keep his self-concept enact, and varying degrees of pathological symptoms appear”. Many psychologists agree that defense mechanisms are ways of facing stress. A good defense mechanism that has been proven to work is humor and jokes. Another example of a defense mechanism is denial. Denial can either help or hurt you. For example if a women has breast cancer and she is in denial that she has this disease, she then can hurt herself by not going to the doctor and trying to solve the problem and try to treat it.
However she can be in denial and not do something that can alter her well being permanently like taking her own life as a means of escape from the illness. There are many psychological disorders however the two most known and common are macro-stressors and micro stressors. A serious accident or a very stressful experience are very good examples of macro-stressors. Reactions to these stressors are so intense that it causes temporary chronic traumatic neurosis. A good example of micro-stressors is depression. These stressors may vary because of daily criticism, unrealistic goals, and sometimes lack of social communication.
Both of these stressors bring on difficulties in breathing, frequent sighing, and a lot of the times emptiness in the stomach. In most cases these symptoms disappear with time however for some people this becomes into a chronic condition and it disturbs their every day life. They lose all interests in everyday activities, develop problems at work and live in a state of mind where they are afraid of their own self-confidence. To control stress Psychologist say that stress management is the only way to go. The reason for this is because managing stress through special techniques will reduce the stress that affects your health in a bad way.
Self-management comes from a belief in internal rather then external controls of ones life. Many people think that their lives are directed by destiny. However this has never been proven. In my opinion and many psychologist opinion is that self determination of ones power to maintain or modify your behavior according to your goals will overcome any obstacles. A lot of what stress management consists of is in the body. Selye believed that adaptation energy is limited and the cause of most deaths related to stress.
However we see in many cases that this isn”t true because we as humans know that being in good physical and mental condition helps us overcome daily difficulties and traumatic life events. Managing stress is a very important thing. However their is a limit on the right way to manage internal factors that act on stress is to take care of your body with the following. Exercising is the primary stress reducer that we are exposed too. Exercise is a very important factor in keeping physically fit. Exercising acts directly on hart efficiency, blood circulation in the lungs and in the vascular system.
Exercising lets us digest better look better and feel better. Another important aspect to reducing stress is eating properly. A good diet gives the body the right amount of nourishment that it needs to survive. Eating the wrong foods stress the body because it lacks normal functioning and harms the body”s cells. Another very important and crucial aspect of stress reduction is relaxation and relaxation techniques. Never ending activities and daily worries are constant sources of tension. Because of this we need to relax. To relax many people often smoke cigarettes or even weed.
Other use tranquilizers and drink liquor. In today”s society we find out that these types of “stress reducing agents” are wrong and sometimes fatal. About 20-30% of Americans smoke and this increases the lung cancer risk by 700%. Smoking also brings on other dangerous problems with the liver kidneys and poor heart and blood circulation. Many relaxation methods more natural and safer than drugs should be used. The right methods reduce the psychological effects of tension. This helps to slow down adrenal secretions and allow the parasympathetic nervous system to work with ease.
Physical conditioning was only introduced to us in the beginning of the 19th century when scientist found a correlation between health and fitness. Exercises help people consentrate, improve sleep and get rid of aggression that gives us stress. Exercising also gives us a feeling of personal control and provides us with greater bodily awareness. Physiologists say that sports act as medicine for relieving most stressful situations. It takes your mind away from pain and lets you relieve it. When people exercise it also gives them more energy to do other things because you get tired less quickly.
All of this is a very beneficial stress reducing agent. However if you don”t exercise you can increase your risks of obesity, bad digestive functioning, back pain, and other problems of the body. For our body”s to function well we need a good diet. A good diet consists of carbohydrates, fats, protein, minerals and water. To have all of these aspects you need a balanced diet. There has been a lot of evidence that having a poor diet increases stress levels. When a person doesn”t eat right that stresses the body by preventing normal metabolism. To reduce stress you have to eat the right food.
If you have low calcium levels you should start eating more dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurts. Many dieticians prefer eating whole grain products because they contain alimentary fibers needed for digestion. Fruits and vegetables are another source of healthy foods. They provide us with vitamins we need for living. You should reduce the fat content by about thirty percent because the more fat you eat the more stress you are putting on the functioning organs in your body like the heart. There are many relaxation techniques that you can do.
Some have to do with playing a sport or some you can do while doing nothing at home. The most important and the most affective relaxation techniques have to do with ones control over mind and body. Meditation is one thing you can do that helps to achieve a stress free environment. Meditation has to do with centering your attention on one thing. The two main goals that are tried to reach during meditation are states of a deep relaxation and a mental state of awakening and alertness. When you reach a state were you feel relax your body also relaxes and takes time out for itself.
The body slows down and you feel warm and comfortable. However there is no scientific proof of this but it works and helps to relieve stress. Another very affective way to achieve peace within your body is to tighten specific muscles. You must first learn what muscles you have to relax, and then you begin the process. When you find the muscles and tighten them you then let the muscle loose up, which gives a very comfortable feeling. This feeling is equivalent to taking a hot bath after exercising. Laboratory tests have shown that this exercise really reduce stress a lot.
Stress cannot be avoided, however we can limit the amount of it that is subdued on us. Each time the body reacts to a stressor, numerous biochemical changes occur. If the stressor goes beyond the available adaptive abilities, illness or even death may occur. We as humans instead of battling stress need to reduce the amounts that we are exposed to. We should do what we need to stop the hurting of our body. We need to adopt a lifestyle that is stimulating and maintain a physical and mental state which gives a resistance to stressors.

Clearer Understanding of the Stress Phenomenon

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Stress Analysis Tricycles

Stress Analysis Tricycles.
This posture Is commonly observed when sitting inside the sidecar of the tricycle especially when it is full. The passenger is placed in an awkward position, like the shoulder is pressed with another passenger’s shoulder. The knees also are placed In an awkward position which can influence the degree of Joint and tissue stress. Also, if the passenger is kept in that awkward sitting position for a long time, it can cause tissue fatigue and micro-trauma due to the continual muscle fling and strain on the tendons and ligaments (http://acquirement. Articulately. Com/ergonomic-risk-factor-protecting- the-lower-back-1039221 . HTML). Different aspects in the proper seating dimension of the tricycles sidecar should be considered, which this study alms to focus on. This duty is aimed at specifically comparing measurements of sidecars of tricycles in Herman Cortes, Mandate City, with the anthropometric data taken from the male and female Filipinos of Metro Zebu. Literature Review There has always been a close relationship between measurement and the human body.
Even today, linear distances are measured in feet and horses are measured in hands. Engineering anthropometry is defined as the application of scientific physical measurement methods to the human body In order to optimize the interface between humans and machines and other manufactured products. Such odd measurements assure that manufactured goods will be suitable for intended user populations (Roebuck, Groomer, ; Thomson, 1975). They have clearly understood the value and significance of the payback and broad function of anthropometry.
With current studies being made in the Philippines, there is still a need to enhance more about anthropometry. Marquee and Garcia(2002) stated that it is possible to carry a great number of it is necessary to limit the number of passengers in such way that provide the minimum comfort that the users deserve. Aside from varying ergonomic factors like vibration and temperature, comfort of the passenger should also be considered like the way the passenger is seated while the tricycle is moving.

In the Philippines, a specific region has its own type of tricycle like in region 8. On Panky Island there are two types of tricycles: the Oakland type and the Lillo type tricycle. The Oakland type has two facing benches in the rear and one facing bench in front. The Lillo type has two benches back to back and a small seat in front. The tricycles in Mindanao are called “Motorola”. The sidecar is built around the motorcycle and has two facing benches ND a seat on each side of the driver. (http://www. Silent-gardens. Com/trig. HP) The tricycles in Mandate City are somewhat similar to the Oakland type with 1 facing bench in the rear and 2 small benches in the front. L. Anthropometric Studies in Other Countries The comfort, physical health, well-being, and performance of people can be increased by designing equipment, goods, furniture, and other devices according to the needs of the human body. One of the conditions to support productivity is to ensure that the work spaces and equipment that people use conform to the anthropometric and biomedical characteristics of the users.
Anthropometric data are used in ergonomics to specify the physical dimensions of work spaces, equipment, furniture, and clothing (Bridge, 1995; Kayos and Zoo, 1991 ; Gone and Park, 1990). Appropriate use of anthropometry in design may improve the well-being, health, comfort, and safety of a product’s users (Pheasant, 1998; Barrows et al. , 2005) . The use of poorly designed furniture, especially school desks and tables, that fails to account for the anthropometric characteristics of its users has a negative influence n human health.
A surprising number of grade school children and adolescents are reported to have regular bouts of back, neck, and headache pain (Salesmen, 1984; Parcels et al. , 1999). Paulsen and Hansen (1994) stated that students use school furniture extensively during the most important period of their physical development. Backaches were also commonly suffered by middle-aged people in developed countries when they are in their twenties, the time when most of them are attending colleges and universities as stated by Watson et al (2002).
Anthropometric measurements of the hillier, measurements and design features of the school furniture can also influence the sitting posture of the students and not only influenced by activities being performed in the classroom as stated by Yeats (1997) and Punctiliously et AK (2004). Knight and Noses (1999), Parcels et al (1999), and Punctiliously et al (2004) measurements such as polite height, knee height, buttock-polite length and elbow height of the students must be taken in order to determine the correct dimensions of school furniture.
Anthropometric data from the said users have been seed to manufacture the correct design of schools desks and tables in most modern developed countries as stated by Parcels et al (1999). As the researchers noted earlier, furniture potentially have a significant effect on human health. Thus, it is essential to use anthropometric data to guide the design of school desks and chairs like in Turkey. Anthropometric measurements vary among nations and ethnic groups and change over time as populations and their environmental conditions change.
As a result, the anthropometric data used in the design of the equipment used in Turkish higher education are based on anthropometric data from other countries and thus do not represent the average body measurements of the Turkish people (Kayos, 1988; Truth et al. , 2004). It was also stated that anthropometric measurements are used in the design of school chairs and desks used in higher education for the Turkish people. Improper sitting posture causes backaches and other discomforts. This is also applicable to improper riding posture of the motorcycle rider.
Effective motorcycle and personal protective equipment design depends heavily upon understanding the geometric relationship between the motorcycle and the motorcycle rider. Basic human factors issues such as forward vision, riding comfort, control location and operation all require knowledge of riding posture while operating a motorcycle. A study on a Three Dimensional Analysis of Riding Posture of Three Different Styles Of Motorcycles reports on the results of a study to determine the three dimensional location and orientation of body segments for nine motorcycle riders while sitting on one of three different motorcycles.
The Motorcycle Anthropometric Test Dummy (MATT) has been developed specifically for motorcycle crash testing in accordance with the ISO 13232 standard. The original MATT design was based largely upon the existing Hybrid Ill Anthropometric Test Dummy design; therefore, it was assumed that the anthropometric characteristics of the MATT resembled a 50th percentile motorcycle rider. In the study each subject was asked to assume a most comfortable riding position followed by a maximum forward and maximum rearward riding position on a conventional, sport and cruiser motorcycle.
The subject’s body was used and were installed with twenty-eight reflective markers that were placed on anatomical landmarks and five calibrated camera photometry’s system was used o locate these markers in a three dimensional space. The study was composed of one hundred seventy trials and the results were compared to a series of tests collected on the same motorcycles with the MATT dummy used for ISO 13232 testing. The data obtained from the study provided unique three dimensional anthropometric data that could be used for future human factors motorcycle research.
There are only few existing data that are published regarding motorcycle rider the only motorcycle specific anthropometric study (other than the study described above) that was published. In the United Kingdom a survey was conducted about 140 tricycles, and six body dimensions were collected; the researchers of this study believed that is relevant to the future motorcycle design. These dimensions (e. G. Accordion to grip length, knee height above the ground, buttock to knee length) were related to operation of the controls of the motorcycle and any measurements that are related to the neck(e. . Seated head height) were not included. II. Anthropometric Studies in the Philippines Limited studies about Anthropometry have been conducted here in the Philippines. Unfortunately, it needs to be enhanced more since there were only little population being focused. It would be helpful if an anthropometrics study for Filipinos was conducted that composed average group of Philippine residents. Thirty one different kinds of manufacturing industries were randomly selected from the export zones and were provided a sampling plan by them.
The export zones are special economic and social districts that host multinational companies that hire Filipino workers at lower wages and better investment opportunities and trading benefits compared to other countries like the United States and Europe. Some of the benefits given to the multinational corporations in export zones in the country include 100% ownership of the company, no taxes and also license fees to the zone, the privilege to borrow from Philippine banks, no taxes on exports, no minimum investment requirement, and unrestricted repatriation of capital and profits as stated by Rowboat and Emitter (1994). Ill.
Other Anthropometric Studies Sanitation and Corking (1985) stated that the human person spends a great deal of time sitting down, either working in an office, studying in a library, riding in a specific mode of transportation, or eating inside a restaurant. There are seats that are more comfortable than other seats. They also stated that the seats itself, and the support provided by it are crucial when being occupied for several hours whether in a classroom or in an office. Anthropometric data can be determined side-by-side seat spacing, that is, how many seats will fit in each row. The crucial dimension is called shoulder breadth.
If the shoulders will fit, so will the hips. However, an analysis based on shoulder breadth does not guarantee that it will have much room to move your elbows. The bench criterion assumes that a distribution of three shoulder breadths is all that is needed. Since this is a statistical average, it implies that people with broad shoulders will be sitting next to people with narrow shoulders and the three passengers sitting abreast can lean or wiggle around to optimize the available space. The seat criterion is more generous and is based on probabilities of overlapping shoulders when passengers sit in the middle of each seat.
There is little to be gained by having seats more than 19 inches wide. Following are tips to be able to design a proper seat: 1 . The main weight of the body should be carried by the bony protuberances of the buttocks, more technically known as the cholinesterase. . The thighs should exert as little pressure as possible on the seat or on the front edge of the seat. 3. The lumbar (lower) portion of the back must be supported 4. The feet must be able to be placed firmly on the floor or, if this is not possible, on a footrest 5. The seated person should be able to change posture (without getting up) (http:// Amelia. Logs. Com/2011 /05/anthropometry-in-design. HTML) CHAPTER 2 THE PROBLEM AND ITS SCOPE Statement of the Problem It was the purpose of the study to assess the current seat dimensions of the sidecar of tricycles based on the measurements taken from the anthropometric seat emissions of the sidecar of tricycles bound for Herman Cortes Street to Substandard, Mandate City against the anthropometric data taken from the passengers. The data taken would be used to come up with an analysis of the seat dimensions of the sidecar of tricycles. This study seeks to answer the following questions: 1 .
What are the anthropometric measurements of potential male and female passengers with regards to: a. Polite Height b. Sitting Height c. Buttock-polite Height d. Shoulder Breadth e. Hip Breadth 2. What is the current seat dimension of the sidecars of tricycles bound for Herman Cortes Street to Substandard, Mandate City in terms of a. Seat Depth b. Seat Height c. Height of backrest of the seats d. Height from the rooftop the floor of the sidecar e. Seat Width 3. What is the suitable sidecar seat dimension of tricycles bound for Herman Cortes Street to Substandard, Mandate City in terms of: a.
Seat Depth against Buttock- polite length b. Seat Height against Polite Height c. Height from the rooftop the floor of the sidecar against the Sitting Height of The study was conducted with the following assumptions: 1 . More or less the design of the sidecar of the tricycles bound for Herman Cortes Street to Substandard, Mandate City is the same. This is based on the assumption that the tricycles are assembled from a common manufacturer or blueprint. 2. The maximum number of passengers that can ride in the sidecar is four. This is based on the existing design of the sidecar and mostly all of them have the same said design.
Scope and Limitations of the Study The study will focus on assessing and taking measurements on the passenger seats of tricycles bound for Herman Cortes Street to Substandard, Mandate City. Assembly and modifications of the passenger seat and of the sidecar, including the yep and kind of material to be used, is not part of this study. The process of riding and getting out of the passengers from the tricycle is not part of the study. The study is only limited on the sidecar of the tricycle. 2. 1 Age of potential passengers The study is also limited on taking the measurements of adult passengers, ranging from ages 21-40.
This was done with the thought that age range selected is the common ages that ride tricycles bound for Herman Cortes Street to Substandard, Mandate City and there will be minimum to no changes in the skeletal structure at this age range. 2. 2 Span of study The study was conducted in a p of one school year prior to fulfillment of the requirement of the degree. 2. 3 The Tricycles Other types of tricycles like in Taboo, Danna and in other places are not part of this study. The study only focuses on the tricycles bound for Herman Cortes Street to Substandard, Mandate City.
Moreover, the seat of the driver is not included in this study. Significance of the Study This study will provide significant information to people about the importance of seat dimensions in our lives. 4. 1 Utility Vehicle Manufacturers The result of the study can be used by the manufacturers of tricycles, Jeepers, ultimate, buses, and pedicels, they can use the result as a basis in improving the current seat dimensions for the passenger(s). 4. 2 Manufacturing Firms The result can help the manufacturers especially the furniture industries in the design of their seats, specifically in their dimensions.
This study can also help other manufacturing firms with regards to their workplace. The study can help them in their assessment of their current workplace and also develop a better workplace. 4. 3 Future Researchers The study can be used as a reference for future researchers especially with regards related topic. Operational Definition of Terms 5th Percentile’s to or greater than 95% of test subjects (for the top 5th percentile) or equal to or less than 95% of test subjects (for the lower 5th percentile). 10th Percentile is otherwise known as the median or average. The point at which half the values are less and half the values are more. 95th Percentile is the value that 95 percent of the sample lies below. Anthropometry is a device designed for measuring the dimensions of the human body. Anthropometric Data is information resulting from scientific study of measurements of the human body. Buttock-polite Length The polite is the point at the back of the leg where the knee bends. Buttock-to- polite is the dimensions that defines the seat pan depth of chairs.
Foot Length the distance between two parallel lines that are perpendicular to the foot and in contact with the most prominent toe and the most prominent part of the heel. Hip Breadth maximum horizontal distance across the hips in the sitting position. Inter-seat distance the horizontal distance between the edges of parallel seats. Jeepers (PUC or Public Utility Jeepers) are the most common form of public transport throughout the many islands of the Philippines. The internal structure (passenger seats) are parallel and facing each other. Can accommodate 16-20 passengers at a time, excluding the front seat passengers.
Knee height (sitting) along with hip breadth and buttock-to- knee length, knee height allows specification of knee clearance Mini-buses is a passenger carrying motor vehicle that is designed to carry more people than a multi- purpose vehicle or minivan, but fewer people than a full-size bus. Minibuses have a seating capacity of between 8 and 30 seats. Same internal structure with a bus with all seats facing the driver. Multicast are normally not active on long distances. For local transportation and especially for transportation between villages or between villages and regional towns, they offer their services Just as the tricycles do.
Can accommodate 12-14 passengers, excluding the front seat passengers. Same function and internal structure as a Jeep since its seats are parallel and facing each other. Polite Height (sitting) this is the height of the back of the knee above the floor. Population the total number of inhabitants constituting a particular race, class, or group in a specified area. Seat Depth the horizontal distance from the backrest up to he edge of the seat pan parallel to it. Seat Height the vertical distance from the edge of the seat pan to the floor.
Sitting Height the horizontal distance from the sitting surface to the top of the head. Shoulder breadth side-by-side seating space and lateral clearance in passageways, that for some operational reason cannot be built to the more spacious and comfortable widths Tricycle is the Philippine rickshaw. A motorbike or sometimes a bicycle with an attached sidecar. It can accommodate 5 – 6 passengers in one time. Trinidad the manpower tricycle, a bike with an attached discarded. This used to be the most common public transportation means in villages and small towns in rural Philippines.
It can accommodate 3 passengers in one time. CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The study will take place in Mandate City where there are many tricycles in different parts of the city. The researchers specifically chose Herman Cortes Street for the ease of finding tricycles and passengers. II. Research Subject There are two research subjects in the study, which are the sidecar of the tricycles and the potential passengers. The number of sidecars to be measured in Herman Cortes Street, Mandate City is based on the notion that in order for the data distribution to be normally distributed, at least 30 samples should be taken.
The researchers randomly chose and measured 40 tricycles. The researchers also randomly chose and measured 40 passengers. Ill. Research Instrument Two kinds of instruments will be used in this study because the researchers will be measuring the sidecar of the tricycles and the passengers who will be riding it. In measuring the sidecar of the tricycles, a steel tape would be used in getting the sitting height, seat depth, seat height, inter-seat distance, height of backrest of the eats, inclination of the backrest, and tightest from the rooftop the floor of the sidecar. Fig. 3. 1 illustrates an example oaf steel tape Fig 3. : A steel -rape In measuring the passengers, an improvised chair will be used that would measure and obtain the buttock-polite length of the passenger. Fig 3. 2: An Improvised Chair In obtaining the polite height, a flat ruler or a T-square will be used to measure the polite height of the passenger. Fig 3. 3: A Flat ruler or T-square An improvised stand with a tape as shown on the next page measure will be used to measure the sitting height of the passenger. Fig 3. 4: An improvised stand with a tape measure An anthropometry will be used to measure the passengers’ shoulder breadth and hip breadth.
Fig 3. 5: Anthropometry IV. Research Procedure The proponents will measure 60 subjects-30 male and 30 female with its selected body parts, all of which would be in Metro Zebu at the time of data gathering. The said data will be used to verify with the existing data gathered by the study of Arabia Et. AY. Is whether outdated or has no significant difference with the data gathered by basing their study on the data that they have gathered. If there is no significant preference then the proponents would be basing their study on the existing data gathered by the study of Arabia Et. AY.
To verify the data gathered by the proponents a hypothesis testing was conducted using the Z- test and T- test with the Mean and Standard Deviation of the existing study against the Mean and Standard Deviation of the data gathered by the proponents. The results that will be obtained would determine if there is any significant difference between the said data. The proponents will also get measurements of the sidecar seat dimension in terms of seat height, seat depth, height of backrest of the seats, Height from the rooftop the lour of the sidecar and Seat Width from 39 tricycles bound for Herman Cortes Street to Substandard, Mandate City.
After all the data were obtained the proponents will now analyze minored to assess the anthropometric measurements of selected body parts of male and female obtain from the study of Arabia Et. AY. Against the passenger seat dimension of the sidecar of tricycles bound for Herman Cortes Street to Substandard, Mandate City. To assess, the proponents categorized the anthropometric measurements of selected body parts of male and female obtain from the study of Arabia Et.
AY against the dimensions of the passenger seat of the sidecar of transmogrification to 5th,50th and 95th percentile. The proponents will now determine the number of data points of the anthropometric measurements of selected body parts of male and female that will fell to the categorized percentile of the passenger seat dimension of the sidecar of tricycles which will be the basis of how fit is the user population anthropometric measurement to a passenger seat dimension of the sidecar of a tricycle. 5. Sidecar of the tricycles The researchers must first ask permission from the driver of the tricycle. Once the driver approves, the process of measuring the passenger seats and the sidecar takes place. 5. 2 The Potential Passengers The researchers must first ask permission from the potential passengers for them to start measuring. Once the passengers approve, the researchers will measure the polite height, sitting height, buttock-polite height, shoulder breadth, and the hip breadth of the passengers.
The subject sits erect on a hard surface with the thighs full supported and are parallel. The shoulders are relaxed. The respondent was asked to take off their shoes to avoid inaccuracies of the data. They were asked to be seated properly on the chair with their backs on the metal stand. After making sure that the respondent is exhibiting the proper posture, the proponents then proceeded with the measurement proper. Five measurements were taken from the different respondents. See Appendix C and D for the measurements of male and female) V. Data Gathering The different data gathered are classified below and each have their respective one place and wait for potential passengers. The tricycles are idle at this time because the drivers will be waiting for the passengers to come. This would be the reflect opportunity for the researchers to get measurements from the sidecar and the passenger seats without disturbing the drivers’ business. 6. 4 Potential Passengers.
The chosen respondents were given the questionnaire before the measurement proper took place (See Appendix F). The questionnaire were given to the respondents because the proponents believe that the chosen respondents are the most qualified for the study, and that they have the right information that the proponents are seeking; they have the experience as well as a passenger of a tricycle which the study is looking for. After determining that the respondents fell within the scope of the group’s study, they were then deemed as official respondents to the research.

Stress Analysis Tricycles

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College Stress Analysis

College Stress Analysis.
One important factor of college stress on students leading to suicide is academic linked issues in college. Firstly, college means higher education demanding for a number of assignments, tests and projects which is just sufficient for students to commit suicide particularly when exams are round the corner. Every semester has two or more quizzes, group assignments and case study for each subject which is worth so much Of marks that you don’t want to lose it.
Next, world has become very competitive so in order for one to shine in that world requires a lot of hardwood to make homeless different from others. Everyone is in the race of being the number ‘one’. In addition, students give up hope thinking that if they don’t do well academically they are not worth anything, but they don’t realize that living with hope motivates oneself to be somebody in life. It is very hard for one to adopt new environment, new responsibilities and to be exposed to the world of competition.
There is a vast difference between school life and college life, for example, unlike college, secondary students are usually upon-fed by their class teachers that is everything given in hand by teachers whether its notes or any announcements. So to be able to adopt this environment is itself a challenge. Living with family means less responsibility on students’ shoulders Some students stay away from their families means more responsibilities which sums up level of stress in college for example, mothers usually chase their children around for food but living in a hostel or without parents means prepare everything by themselves.

Sometimes assignments really gets jammed up over the schedule that many students stay up late at night and study long hours and getting up early for classes. This is really traumatic. Depression is a very common form of stress among adolescents. It can be in a form of finance and life circumstances. Its one of the major reasons of the increasing number of suicides. Unlike schools, college expenses are much higher which some parents can’t afford, directly or indirectly it puts students under great pressure.
Secondly, we often ear or experience that students might not be able to clear examinations therefore he/she may have to repeat that subject or even the entire semester which is really embarrassing and depressing. Having mentioned it earlier due to some financial situation or life circumstances, student may have fear of being dropout from the institution. Many students do not understand how great an impact this stress can have on their happiness and overall behavior. Suicide has now become a trend caused by college stress which many adolescents follow.

College Stress Analysis

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Effect of Stress on Beet Cells

Effect of Stress on Beet Cells.
The Effect of Temperature on Beet Cell Membranes Introduction In this lab, we are going to learn how the stress of temperature affects fresh beets. We have come to learn that cell membranes organize the chemical activities of cells. All cells are made of plasma membranes, often called fluid mosaics. It is sometimes described as a mosaic because it is made of protein molecules that are embedded into phospholipids. Phospholipids are the main structural support of the membrane and the proteins perform most of the functions of a membrane.
Together they form boundaries or barriers between the cell itself and its surroundings, like the membrane of an egg. Plasma membranes also control what substances come in and out and also dispose of the cells waste. The membrane itself is composed primarily of phospholipids. Phospholipid molecules have two parts and form a sheet that has two layers, called a bi-layer. They are made up of two fatty acids which make up the tail end and the head is phosphate group.
The head of this molecule is hydrophobic, which mean it is attracted to water and their tail is hydrophobic which means they dislike water. Together they form a bobby-pinned shaped barrier. Listed below is my hypothesis for this experiment. I hypothesize that tube 1 at 70° c the color intensity of leaked betacyanin will be 10. I hypothesize that tube 2 at 55° c the color intensity of leaked betacyanin will be 8. I hypothesize that tube 3 at 40° c the color intensity of leaked betacyanin will be 6. I hypothesize that tube 4 at 22° c the color intensity of leaked betacyanin will be 0.

I hypothesize that tube 5 at 5° c the color intensity of leaked betacyanin will be 8. I hypothesize that tube 6 at -5° the color intensity of leaked betacyanin will be 10. Method The first thing that I did was label each test tube with numbers 1-6 and listed each corresponding temperature on the label. I cut six pieces of beet in the measurements that were given and rinsed them under tap water for 2 minutes. I then patted them with a paper towel to get off the excess water. I kept the pieces of beet in the paper towel while I got the other items ready.
For the cold treatment I put one piece of beet in each beaker (5 and 6) and put tube 5 in the refrigerator and tube 6 in the freezer. I left them in there for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I covered each one with the same amount of tap water and let them soak for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes I took each beet out of the test tube, threw the beet away, but saved the colored water so I could chart later. For the room temperature and hot treatments I put each piece of beet into its marked test tube. For tube 1 (70°c), I had to simmer water to get it to the correct temperature.
I put the piece of beat into the beaker of water and waited one minute, I took it out and put it in beaker one, covered it with room temperature water and waited 20 minutes. Beet 2, 3 and 4 were all conducted the same way. I put the correct temperature of water into the beaker, let the beat soak for one minute, took the beet out of the beaker and covered with tap water in the test tube for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes I discarded all the beets so I could record my findings with the colored water that was left behind. Results:
From doing this experiment I found that the more stressful environments you subject an item to the differently they act. It is cause and reaction. In tube number one the color intensity leak was at a ten, the highest number on the chart. I found that the heat seemed to open the pores of the beet to let the dye permeate the water. In tube 2 the color was at a 7. The water was still warm enough to allow the dye molecules to pass through the membrane. In tube 3, the water was at 40. This is still warm but not the color was not nearly as intense as the previous tube.
The next tube charted was tube number 4. The beet was subjected to a temperature of only 22°c. That temperature I would chart as “room temperature”. I found that the least amount of dye was leaked from the beet. For the cold methods I concluded that the amount of betacyanin that escaped from the cell membrane was intense, like the hot treatment results. I concluded that it didn’t have to be hot temperature stress to release betacyanin. Tube number 5 was placed into the refrigerator and the level of dye that permeated the water was charted at a 6.
Tube 6 was placed in the freezer and was documented at a level of color intensity of a ten. Also, when the tube was pulled from the freezer the specimen has noticeably changed. It has a slight white, almost white frost or texture to it. Please see attachment and table below. Test Tube numberTreatment °CColor Intensity (0 – 10) 170 10 255 7 340 5 422 1 55 6 6-5 10 Discussion I believe the result came out the way they did because of level of stress I put the beet through. When damage is done to a cell membrane it affects the entire vegetable.
When the beet was put in such hot temperatures the cell membrane started to break down and leak the pigment through the cell wall, since the cell is semi-permeable. Like we spoke about in our text book, the cell membrane lets small molecules to pass through. When the beet was heated to 70°c or cooled to -5°c it was subjected to much more stress that at a normal room temperature, which the beet is grown and stored at. The various temperatures make the beet release its pigments. The extreme hot and cold acted as energy for the beet to release the red dye.
The structures need to have a stable environment in order to establish their structure. My hypotheses were correct, for the most part. My numbers were not exact, but I had the general idea of what I thought would happen. I thought that the more stress you put on to a beet the great amount of pigment you would receive out of it. I figured that beets were stored at room temperature so if you put them in water that was the same temperature as the room it wouldn’t cause stress on the membrane, hence the least amount of pigment leakage. I was surprised at the amount of pigment that came from the beet.
When I first cut the beet the pigment was all over the cutting board and the knife, not to mention by hands. Accuracy is key. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we strive to do things perfectly sometimes there are variables that can affect how the results are derived. In my experiment, I tried to cut each beet with precision. It is almost impossible to cut each beet the exact same and this could have slightly affected how my beets reacted to each session. The larger the surface of the beet the more pigment the beet has in it to release. Another variable could also be the freshness of the beets.
My beets where purchased 1200 kilometers and two countries away from where I did the experiment and weren’t extremely firm like they should be. After doing research, I found that the older the beet is the more pigment it has. That could give me not as true of a reading. The last variable I could have experienced was the temperature of the room. The day the experiment was held it was 1°c outside , so the heater was running full speed all day. I think the experiment could have had more true results if the room was at a more normal temperature.
I think while doing the experiment the beets could have dried out slightly from the air in the house being so warm. When working with patients you need to understand the symptoms they have in order to help them. Let’s say I had a man with cancer come into the hospital and I was in charge of monitoring his pain level. If the man was on two different pain medications I would need to know how the two medications worked with each other in order to successfully help him. I would have to know how Morphine worked with Aspirin or how Motrin interacted with Tylenol.
Having done this experiment, it has helped me understand how there is cause and effect to everything that we do on a daily basis. If I gave the man 10 cc’s of Motrin I can give him a Fentanyl lozenge later in the day if he is still in pain. That way I keep the side effects, such as nausea, to a minimum without overdoing the amount of morphine I give him. Also doing this experiment has given me the faith in myself to know that I can take action and do experiments, charting, researching and investigation if I want to know why something happens the way it does.

Effect of Stress on Beet Cells

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Madame du Barry: Louis XV’s Favorite Mistress

Madame du Barry: Louis XV’s Favorite Mistress.
It has often been said that it is the mistress who truly wields the power on the throne. According to the BBC article The King’s Mistress – A Royal Tradition (2005), “… for centuries, kings across Europe have turned to mistresses for sex, advice and conversation” (BBC News, n. pag. ). In exchange for the sex and companionship that they provided to their respective paramours, these women were able to obtain “great personal wealth, security and a rare chance of political power” (BBC News, n. pag.). But in the case of Madame du Barry (1743-1793), a king’s mistress can also bring about the end of his regime (BBC News, n. pag. ).
Madame Jeanne Becu Comtesse du Barry was born as Marie-Jeanne Becu at Vaucouleurs, Lorraine on August 19, 1743 (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). She was the illigitimate daughter of Anne Becu, who was said to have worked either as a seamstress or a cook in Paris (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). Marie-Jeanne’s biological father was believed to be Jean Baptiste Gormand de Vaubernier, a friar who went by the name of “Brother Angel” (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). However, it was Anne’s lover, Monsieur Billard-Dumonceaux, who paid for her education at the convent of St. Aure (Wikipedia, n. pag. ).
Marie-Jeanne left the convent at age 15 and moved to Paris, where she assumed the name Jeanne Rancon (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). She held various jobs during her stay in Paris, which included being an assistant to a young hairdresser named Lametz (with whom she was rumored to have a daughter), a companion to Madame de la Garde (known to be a lonely aristocrat) and a miliner’s assistant in A La Toilette, an enterprise of a certain Monsieur Labille (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). In 1763, her beauty caught the eye of well-heeled pimp and casino owner Jean du Barry (Wikipedia, n. pag. ).

He then proceeded to turn her into his mistress and groomed her career as a courtesan that catered only to the Parisian elite (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). Marie-Jeanne became a courtesan for four years (Marie Antoinette, n. pag. ), working under the alias of Mademoiselle Lange (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). Although several of her wealthy customers eventually became her benefactors, Du Barry wanted to use her to control King Louis XV (1715-1774) (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). Du Barry’s ambition was realized when Marie-Jeanne and his brother, Comte Guillaume du Barry, were married in 1769 (Wikipedia, n. pag. ).
Marie-Jeanne’s marriage to a nobleman qualified her to become Louis XV’s official royal mistress (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). On April 2, 1769, Madame du Barry was formally intoroduced to the family of the king and the French royal court (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). In sharp contrast to Madame de Pompadour (1721-1764), another of Louis XV’s mistresses, Du Barry had minimal political clout over the king (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). Her only participation in politcs was her membership in the faction that deposed Etienne Francois de Choiseul from his position as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1770 (Wikipedia, n. pag. ).
Du Barry instead spent her time “having new gowns made and ordering jewelry of every shape, size and colour” (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). She also took the place of De Pompadour as Louis XV’s favorite mistress (Marie Antoinette, n. pag. ). However, Du Barry’s genteel life in Versailles Palace was not without problems. She had a bitter feud with French Dauphine Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) primarily because of the latter’s support of De Choiseul (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). Marie Antoinette also refused to have anything to do with Du Barry due to her disgust with the latter’s personal background (Marie Antoinette, n. pag. ).
Furthermore, Louis XV requested prior to his demise in May 1774 that Du Barry be banished to the Abbey of Pont aux-Dames, where her letters and visits were strictly monitored (Marie Antoinette, n. pag. ). Historians believed that the king’s relationship with Du Barry might have hindered him from receiving an absolution before his death; hence, his decision to send her away (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). Du Barry lived in the convent for two years, before moving to the Chateau de Louveciennes (Wikipedia, n. pag. ) in 1776 (Marie Antoinette, n. pag. ).
Although Du Barry was noted for her “her good nature and support of artists” (Wikipedia, n. pag. ), the French people despised her due to the lavish lifestyle that the king subjected her to (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). By the late 1780s, France was in the midst of a severe fiscal crisis (MSN Encarta, n. pag. ). Its economy suffered due to the monarchy’s tedious and archaic bookkeeping system (MSN Encarta, n. pag. ). Furthermore, the country also did not have a national bank (MSN Encarta, n. pag. ). Even if the majority of France’s nobility and clergy were extremely well-off, they were taxed considerably less than the poor peasants (MSN Encarta, n. pag. ).
The royalty likewise had to take on crippling debts just to finance the very expensive wars it got itself into – the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748), the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) and the American Revolution (1775-1783) (MSN Encarta, n. pag. ). While the country’s upper classes wallowed in wealth and the monarchy engaged in one expensive hostility after another, ordinary French citizens starved due to skyrocketing prices of bread (MSN Encarta, n. pag. ).
The increasing animosity between France’s nobility and bourgeoisie resulted in the French Revolution (1789-1799) (MSN Encarta, n. pag. ). Under the Revolution, “France was temporarily transformed from an absolute monarchy, where the king monopolized power, to a republic of theoretically free and equal citizens” (MSN Encarta, n. pag. ). Simply put, the French Revolution served as the retribution for all the injustices that the French royalty inflicted upon its people. At the height of the Revolution, revolutionaries guillotined nobles, their allies and anyone who opposed the uprising (MSN Encarta, n. pag. ). Du Barry went to England several times in 1792 to supposedly recover stolen jewelry (MSN Encarta, n. pag. ).
As a result, she was accused of secretly providing financial assistance to the England-based opponents of the new French republic (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). The Revolutionary Tribunal of Paris apprehended Du Barry on treason charges in 1793 (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). Following a premeditated trial, she was finally guillotined at the Place de la Concorde on December 8, 1793 (Wikipedia, n. pag. ). Mistresses like Madame du Barry lived lives of wealth, comfort and power. But their affluence and prominence did not come without a tragic price, as they attained these at the expense of so many impoverished citizens.
The hedonistic existence of these women sickened their countrymen to the point that they finally rose up and demanded change for their resepctive countries and governments. It would be fair to say that mistresses can serve as the ultimate warning to any leader who will use his position to enrich himself and his associates. The people may tolerate corruption for a remarkably long time. But once they take power into their own hands, there is no government on earth that they cannot overthrow.
Works Cited

“French Revolution. ” 2007. MSN Encarta.
22 April 2008 <http://encarta. msn. com/encyclopedia_761557826/French_Revolution. html>.
“Madame du Barry. ” 2008. Marie Antoinette. 22 April 2008 <http://www. marie-antoinette. info/Madame_Du_Barry. html>.
“Madame du Barry. ” 9 April 2008. Wikipedia. 22 April 2008 <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Madame_du_Barry>. “Marie Jeanne Becu du Barry. ” 2007.
MSN Encarta. 22 April 2008 <http://encarta. msn. com/encyclopedia_761557120/Du_Barry_Marie_Jeanne_B %C3%A9cu_Comtesse. html>. “The King’s Mistress – A Royal Tradition. ” 27 April 2005.
BBC News. 22 April 2008 <http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/hi/uk_news/4465399. stm>.

Madame du Barry: Louis XV’s Favorite Mistress

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Work Stress and Coping Among Professionals in Asia

Work Stress and Coping Among Professionals in Asia.
CHAPTER EIGHT WORK STRESS, WORK SATISFACTION AND COPING AMONG LIFE INSURANCE AGENTS Chan Kwok-Bun The life insurance industry began in England as early as 1756, yet agents as an occupation to sell insurance directly to the public did not appear until 1840, and mostly in the United States (Kessler, 1985, p. 14; Leigh-Bennett, 1936, p. 59). The industry in the United States expanded considerably in the late nineteenth century due to rapid economic growth, urbanisation and popular education; one saw keen competition among companies and agents for the client dollar.
Some agents resorted to unfair and sometimes illegal sales tactics that resulted in further public hostility, rejection and distrust of life insurance agents. Such public stigmatisation was recorded in the United States as early as 1870. Zelizer (1983, p. 146) wrote, ‘Illegitimate practices were abolished, codes of ethics were published, professional associations organised and agents better trained. Yet the stigma endured. ’ Since its spread to Singapore in 1908 (Neo, 1996, p. 7), the life insurance industry has relied on agents to ‘negotiate the cultural resistance to discussing the proposition of death and its implications, especially among the Chinese’ (Lee, 1994, p. 6; Leong, 1985, p. 178; Neo, 1996, p. 37). Han (1979, p. 44) wrote that ‘everyone needs life assurance, but very few people do anything on their own to buy it’. The agent was thus invented to deal with the public’s rejection of life insurance as a concept and as a commodity. In doing this work, agents were given a share of the pro? t: commissions (Chua, 1971, p. 42; Neo, 1996, p. 8). Hundreds of workers were lured into the life insurance industry by the attractive prospect of self-employment and its promise of work autonomy and potentially high monetary rewards—a sort of ? ight away from the wage-earning class. To say that the work of a life insurance agent is stressful is perhaps an understatement. The fact was well documented in a 1990 survey of six groups of 2,589 workers in Singapore, life insurance 126 chan kwok-bun agents included (see Chapter 10). The survey found two major sources of work stress. One source was performance pressure.
The professional workers may have internalised a strong need for job achievement and maintenance of professional standards, which are values often held high by many formal organisations as well as the government. The stress of performance pressure may also be a result of Singapore’s economic growth. As Hing (1991, 1992) suggests in Chapter 3, globalisation of the Singapore economy has driven workers to strive for personal and company success—which may bring considerable stress to the workers. Another important source of work stress was workfamily con? icts—a ? ding consistent with those of recent overseas studies (Coverman, 1989; Lai, 1995; Simon, 1992; Thoits, 1986). This essay attempts to identify and analyse stressors associated with the work of life insurance agents, as well as coping strategies adopted by the life insurance industry in general and the agents in particular. The study on which this essay is based analysed transcripts of in-depth interviews conducted in 1990 with 15 life insurance agents and subsequently in 1998–1999 with 15 agents and informants. Each interview lasted between one and a half and two hours.

The respondents ranged from 23 to 42 years in age; 17 men, 13 women. Only ? ve of the 30 respondents were university graduates or diploma holders; the rest were graduates of secondary schools, except for three who had completed ‘0’ or ‘A’ Level. Slightly more than half (18) were married. Drafts of this chapter were given to ? ve other life insurance agents (one retired) to read. One agent provided the researchers with extensive written comments; each of the other four was interviewed twice for feedback on the essay’s various drafts. This research strategy, though laborious and time-consuming, posed critical and re? ctive questions that required the analysts to periodically confront their qualitative data in the form of ‘reality-testing’—indeed a useful step in an interpretive study like ours. As a methodological device, this triangulation of respondents/informants, researchers and ‘critics’, when intentionally built into the research process, forces the researcher(s) to be doubly re? ective. A step is thus institutionalised that requires the researcher to come to terms with biases or blind spots about which others within the triangle are in a legitimate position to ‘complain’. There are two ways to de? ne stress.
One denotes external demands which require the individual to readjust his or her usual behaviour patterns (Holmes and Rahe 1967). In this chapter, these demands work stress among life insurance agents 127 are called ‘stressors’ or ‘stressor factors’, and the readjustment is referred to as ‘coping’. The other way of conceptualising stress is to view it as a state of physiological or emotional arousal that results from one’s appraisal of the relationship between the person and the environment ‘as taxing or exceeding his or her resources and endangering his or her well-being’ (Chan, 1977; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984, p. 1; Selye, 1974; Thoits, 1995). In this chapter, when the term ‘stress’ is used, it is meant in the second sense, to be distinguished from the other two terms, ‘stressor’ and ‘coping’. Work Stressors The life insurance agents believe that Singapore society in general does not have a favourable image of them. Agents are subjected to such derogatory stereotypes as nagging, dishonest, intent on making money fast, manipulative and unethical—basically, people society would like to reject and to shun.
In Singapore, life insurance agents are often seen as among occupants of the lowest stratum in the sales business, possibly below the car salespersons and at best slightly better than a sales clerk in a departmental store. Agents are seen as a category of persons out there selling life insurance policies to ‘eat up people’s money’, sometimes unscrupulously. Victimised by stereotypes, an agent is deprived of an opportunity to defend his or her self as a person—an individual making a living like everybody else: As you know, ‘life insurance’ is not a nice word to utter.
We get a lot of rejections, ‘brush-o? s’, and nasty looks by people—all these can cause us to have a very low self-image. . . . When I was very new, and when I was still doing a lot of selling, I got a lot of rejections. You notice that you have reached a dead-end because you have tried so hard to reach your sales target but you simply cannot. (1)1 These personal experiences with rejections by clients are frequent enough to have become part and parcel of the job itself; they must be among the more deleterious work stressors for the agents.
To some if not all agents, rejections—taking such forms as not listening, not returning telephone calls, failing to keep an appointment or 1 The number in the bracket identi? es the respondents of our study. See Table 1 for their personal characteristics. 128 chan kwok-bun Table 1: Personal Characteristics of Respondents (N = 30) Education Secondary School Graduate = S ‘A’ Level = ‘A’ ‘0’ = ‘0’ Age University or Diploma = U or D Marital Status Sex (Married = M; (Male = M; Number Single = S) Female = F) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 M S M M S M S S M S M S M M S M M M M S M M S S M M S S M M M F M M M F M F M M M M M M F M M M F F F M M M M F F F M M 28 28 29 29 33 35 30 31 33 29 23 32 32 28 24 25 38 30 27 28 36 35 30 42 27 30 28 31 38 26 ‘A’ S S ‘0’ S S S U D S S S S ‘A’ S S S S S S U S S S U D U S S S simply not giving one, or deciding at the last minute not to purchase a policy—invariably provide an evidential and experiential validation of society’s low image as well as disrespect of the occupation of life insurance agents.
Agents reported childhood friends and relatives avoiding and labelling them as ‘pests’ and ‘man-eaters’. Some made speci? c requests work stress among life insurance agents 129 that no talk about life insurance be allowed in friendly social gatherings lest they risk discontinuation of friendships and relationships. Beginners in life insurance sales typically approach these same people within their own close personal networks to meet their quota in the ? rst one or two years, usually quite successfully. Yet, over-reliance on this personal network quickly exhausts its inherently limited potential.
On the dark side, rejections by those who are socio-emotionally close, and are therefore supposedly ‘obliged’ to help out because of friendship or family and kin membership, are often experienced by the beginning agents as particularly traumatic. Some agents thus feel let down, betrayed and cheated—these feelings sometimes result in agents slowly divorcing themselves from others socially and emotionally close to them, thus breeding personal isolation and alienation. Parents, relatives and friends are often upset when a young university graduate chooses to be a life insurance agent.
Without a basic monthly salary to fall back on, the agents’ income comes entirely from sales commissions, which are often seen by parents as unreliable and risky. Parents expect a university degree, itself a considerable achievement in the Singapore society, to lead to a reasonably attractive salary from a stable, secure, respected job. The idea of an agent going for months without pay for not being able to sell a single policy is either foreign or unacceptable to parents of an earlier generation.
This e? ectively makes the agents outsiders to their close personal networks. The very nature of the life insurance agents’ job lies in dealing with people and prospective clients, many of whom they meet for the ? rst time as strangers in probably the most unlikely places and hours (often subjected to the desires and whims of the clients). Much of the stress and strain experienced by the agents thus lies in their transactions and negotiations with strangers—with the unknown, unfamiliar and unpredictable.
Yet, the probability is quite high that these same strangers will hold an unfavourable stereotypical image of agents as a category, thus sometimes mistreating and denigrating them. The agents, in their encounters with strangers, have to manage an instant spoiled identity, a stigma, externally and coercively imposed on them by society at large. Agents often start on a wrong foot in the door, so to speak. Agents do not interact with their clients as equals. The balance of power in agent-client transactions is often tilted in favour of the clients.
This status inequality, a source of intense discomfort, anxiety 130 chan kwok-bun and sometimes alienation for many agents, is often exploited, if not abused, by the clients. The agents, when asked to recall a speci? c experience or situation at work when they felt depressed or frustrated, would quite freely describe what constitutes a ‘bad’ client: Some clients are quite unreasonable, and they a? ect our morale considerably. What is being unreasonable? They try every possible means to reject you.
They will tell you they are busy and ask you to come another day, or they will ask you for an appointment but when you show up they will say they are busy and ask you to come on yet another day! (10) Yet, agents are trained and often reminded by their supervisors and senior colleagues not to try to get back at their clients simply because of their ‘bad’ or ‘unreasonable’ conduct. In an important sense, agents are not allowed tension release ‘to get even’ with the ‘other’, thus further aggravating the built-in status inequality of the agentclient relations.
This inability of agents to express the feelings of frustration, anger and displeasure that are generated by unpleasant encounters with ‘bad’ clients may prove to be doubly degrading to some agents. It perpetuates the status imbalance and is of considerable psychological costs to the agents. While much of work stress among a wide range of professional groups is often attributed to sheer work overload, some life insurance agents reported having too much time on their hands at work as a stressor. As one agent put it, ‘When I am most free, I am most stressed. Having plenty of time means one is not being productive— ideally, one should be kept busy. Having little or no work for weeks or even months generates anxiety, for insurance work relies exclusively on commissions from selling policies. Largely unstructured, insurance work gives the agents much personal freedom and autonomy; yet this same job characteristic requires skills to structure and use time to one’s advantage. Given the unstructured and unde? ned nature of an agent’s work, di? culties experienced in dealing with either plenty of time or little time were often reported by the agents as stressors.
One important way the agents de? ne stress is in terms of sustained pressure to produce, to meet the yearly quota of sales, which is invariably enacted by their bosses’ ‘nagging’: Once in a while, my boss will remind us to pull up our socks. (6) work stress among life insurance agents 131 A ‘bad’ boss, as seen by the agents, is someone solely interested in pushing for a certain level of sales productivity in a given year, yet not showing enough care and support. It was reported that one insurance company regularly sends ‘gentle reminders’ to those agents not doing well, thus adding to the pressure.
As a way to increase agents’ productivity and to sustain a motivational level, the life insurance industry has institutionalised the practice of publishing regular bulletins which, among other things, rank the ‘top super achievers’ by detailing their total volumes of sales by month and year. One agent reported that her company sends each agent every month a progress report which is seen by the agents as one form of assessment and feedback from the administration. Every quarter of the year, the unit manager and the agent will meet to review the latter’s sales performance.
As the agent herself put it, ‘Such meetings can make me feel good when sales meet the set quota, or the experience will be quite embarrassing if I don’t do well. ’ It was reported by another agent that the leader of her agency organises the agents into several work groups and gives out awards to the topachieving group every now and then, especially at the end of the year, to foster ‘healthy’ inter-group competition and, thus supposedly, sales productivity. Singapore has experienced in the past twenty years a rapid growth in the insurance industry, as measured both by the actual number of insurance companies and y the number of full-time and parttime life insurance agents. These agents are competing with each other for more or less the same client market, which by and large still views the concept of life insurance with disinterest. The net result of this rapid growth in the industry is increased competitiveness and rivalry between companies. Theoretically, the client market is an open one, often seen by some relatively successful agents as unlimited—‘the sky is the limit’, so to speak. Yet, in actual day-to-day practice, it was reported by agents that they often ran into direct competition with each other.
Reports were made about unethical practices of agents who resorted to substantially reduced insurance rates to ‘undercut’ competitors. Yet others, in order to maintain a certain level of yearly sales productivity, were forced to pay out of their own pockets premiums not paid up by their clients, thus sometimes getting themselves into considerable debts. Acute competitiveness and rivalry between agents/colleagues thus possibly engenders a general feeling of distrust, tension and 132 chan kwok-bun strain in interpersonal relations among peers. Competition and con? ct generate barriers of communication, undermine collegiality and, if left unmanaged, breed individualism and self-isolation. The more successful agents arouse jealousy from others and are thus shunned. The not so successful ones ? nd others critical and condescending, and would thus choose not to con? de in them. The competitiveness of the client market demands considerable work commitment, e? ort and mental concentration of the life insurance agents which, in reality, may or may not translate themselves into actual sales, especially for the beginners just initiated into the industry.
Agents complained about having to work long, irregular hours, sometimes late in the evenings or over weekends, prospecting strangers or going for appointments with clients: If a client calls you at night and insists on seeing you, you have little option but to go. You may not be that free since many people own chunks of your time. You are beholden to many people, all your clients, real or imagined, unlike in a regular job where you have relatively predictable hours, and usually one person (your boss) can demand of your time. As an agent, your time is not yours, but your clients’, everybody’s. 20) Many perhaps choose to be a life insurance agent thinking the job approximates self-employment and thus o? ers the capacity to control one’s use of time to serve one’s interest. Yet, paradoxically, having escaped the tyranny of control by a boss who has legitimate rights to his time, the agent soon realises he has lost his control of time to many other bosses: all his clients, real and prospective. If professional autonomy is partially measured by one’s control over time, an agent may soon be in a shock of his life. A worker who cannot claim ownership of time is a stressed agent.
Much of an agent’s work is done outside his or her own o? ce, travelling on the road between appointments, in client’s o? ces or any other place clients deem appropriate or convenient to themselves. This seemingly perpetual mobility of the ‘on-the-road agenttraveller’, in a substantial way, makes the work of a life insurance agent an essentially lonely one. The agent becomes a lone ranger exploiting the frontier and eking out a daily routine of negotiating with strangers, much of the time facing a social world of unfriendly, if not hostile and aggressive forces.
The very nature of an agent’s work in terms of long, irregular hours as well as an ‘unsocial’ work routine necessarily casts him or her out of the mainstream society. work stress among life insurance agents 133 An agent’s life is largely out of sync with the normal tempo of his or her family, relatives and friends. This temporal and spatial disparity between the agent and his or her social world has over time become a potent source of strain manifested in various forms of interpersonal con? icts. These tensions in interpersonal relations are particularly taxing among two groups of agents: ? st, the beginners, who strive to maintain some resemblance of order with their family, their boyfriends or girlfriends; second, married women, who try to juggle their multiple roles of wife, mother and full-time agent. Women agents are sometimes seen by their male colleagues as perhaps a bit too aggressive, or too driven, working too hard, putting in too many long hours while competing with other male agents in an already tight market. One single woman spoke about how the long, irregular hours she has been keeping for almost two years led to con? icts and ? ghts with her boyfriend and the eventual break-up of a close relationship.
Parents worry about their young daughters’ safety and well-being; they are concerned that young single women meeting with total strangers for business, in unlikely places at inappropriate hours. Other parents do not like the thought that their daughters are so preoccupied with work that they do not have time to look for or see boyfriends. A married woman, determined to become a unit manager in three years, spoke about the di? culties encountered in e? ectively discharging her role as a mother to two young children, sometimes feeling remorseful over releasing her work frustrations on them. Another single woman, ? ding the Singapore market too competitive, resorted to concentrating her e? orts in Indonesia; and she spoke about societal pressures on single women in terms of work, career and achievement. Two agents had become, over the years, increasingly aware that they had been pursuing their work goals almost at the total expense of their family, often to the extent of coming home so tensed up that they were incapable of communicating with their family members. Worried and preoccupied with work, they were increasingly non-communicative and were drifting further and further into a world of their own making.
In the course of time, these agents, while selfdivorcing and self-isolating from their family, have engineered and completed their own disengagement from their social world, which itself may breed various forms of marital as well as familial con? icts. As a result, work stress and family stress become intertwined, each feeding into the other—up to a point when the agent is at a loss 134 chan kwok-bun as to which is the ‘cause’ and which is the ‘e? ect’. Yet, ironically, the agent continues to believe in the uniqueness of his or her own work problems, so much so that only the worker himself or herself can solve them.
Work problems have thus become a personal problem that requires a personal solution—a perception that inevitably leads to the self-isolation of the agent. One of the possible consequences of this non-communication with and self-enforced isolation from one’s social environment, be it one’s work colleagues or one’s family members and friends, is this tendency, in solitude, to blame oneself, to blame one’s personal weaknesses, failings or incompetence for not having been able to secure an appointment, to close a policy or to meet the yearly sales quota.
A self-blaming, self-denigrating agent who takes all the blame upon oneself is a stressed agent. Coping During our interviews, in describing their ways of coping with work stress, life insurance agents often underlined the importance of three personal qualities: self-reliance, motivation and discipline. A largely unstructured work life demands self-discipline in terms of an ability to e? ectively manage and use time in a context where there is either plenty of time and little productivity, or little time and a heavy workload.
The fact that an agent does not, in a real sense, have a boss during much of the agent’s work life often means that one needs to rely on one’s own ‘internal’ resources to motivate and initiate oneself. During their training, agents learn from their trainers’ exhortations about the critical signi? cance of cultivating the personal habit of being able to motivate and discipline oneself. One agent, determined to become a manager in the shortest possible time, a? xed to the wall of her o? ce facing her desk ‘power’ messages stressing discipline and self-reliance—messages which served as a daily reminder to her.
Her cabinet along another wall was ? lled with layers of ‘inspirational’ and ‘how-to’ books and cassette tapes dealing with such subjects as time management, self-improvement and stress control. She actually reported during an interview that one of those books ‘totally’ changed her life; she recommended anyone aspiring to become successful in life to read it, many times over. Another young male manager grumbled about his o? ce having only limited space while work stress among life insurance agents 135 almost one entire wall was taken up by shelves ? led with motivational and inspirational cassette tapes from America. He remarked that there is a real demand for such materials among the young executive sta? in the Singapore business world. Insurance companies routinely mount in-house training workshops or courses o? ering agents opportunities to ‘refresh’ their ideas on motivation and self discipline. Trainers or consultants from within the industry, the universities and overseas are also brought in regularly to speak on such subjects at professional meetings and industry conventions or congresses.
Occasionally, successful sports coaches or athletes are brought to annual life insurance conventions to share with agents and managers their experiences in motivating and disciplining themselves, thus drawing an analogy between excelling in sports and selling life insurance. One agency, reputed to be among the top four in the mother company, publishes and distributes a monthly bulletin as well as a regular newsletter. In one of the issues, the agency leader shared in her front page message a book she had recently read: The Successful System that Never Fails (1962), by Clement Stone.
The same issue carried another article showing a woman agent as a ‘goal getter’, stating, ‘She has a very disciplined system to monitor her daily and weekly activities. ’ And her advice to the new agents was: 1. KNOW what you want. 2. SET GOALS to achieve it. 3. DO THE BASICS everyday (prospecting, telephone calls, meeting customers, servicing). The article ended with another ‘motivational’ message: ‘Time and tide wait for no man. Plan and do it now. ’ On the second to last page of the bulletin, among the agenda items for a forthcoming agency meeting, it listed a discussion of a book, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill (1996).
Agents also share a strong belief in personal control. Personal control is understood here as values, abilities and behaviours to manage and master oneself e? ectively, including one’s time, habits, perceptions, thought processes, feelings and emotions, or, to put it brie? y, self-mastery. The ability to cope with stress depends a lot on your personality and your own psychological state of mind. Sometimes people amplify the stress situation and make themselves even more stressed. If we are able to control our mind, it’s very much better. (12) Our problem is our mind.
If we ourselves are negative, that is our end. We need to think on the positive. We work to help pick up those who are ‘down’. (11) 136 chan kwok-bun In another monthly bulletin, an entire poem, ‘A Note of Motivation’, from a speaker during one of the regular agency meetings, was reprinted. The poem ended with these lines: ‘Life battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN! ’ Associated with this belief in personal control is the value of hard work, the belief that hard work will bring results, that there is a connection between e? rts and results and, most importantly, the ability to ‘take hard work’, to put up with long, hard, irregular work hours. Two agents actually singled out hard work as an e? ective strategy to cope with work stress. In this context, work, rather than relaxations or rest, is prescribed as an antidote, a remedy or solution to stress or so-called ‘mental and physical a? ictions’. Such a work ethic also seems to suggest a certain degree of mental and emotional toughness, an attitude of determination toward work and life, a readiness to ‘tough it out’.
One agent spoke about the importance of being able ‘to pick oneself up, put the broken pieces together and move on with life’ as a way to get out of a ‘sales slump’. The emphasis is thus on one’s resilience and hardiness, or belief in personal control over work as well as one’s ability to bounce back and recover quickly from ‘the hidden injuries of life’: After a while, I sit back and evaluate my own performance. I’ve learned to think this way: ‘You are not considered a failure if you can pick yourself up and carry on with what you are doing. (1) To the agents, strategies of coping also include a sample of various psychological defence mechanisms; there is evidence from the indepth interview data that they are quite frequently used. Agents are taught during training to handle rejections by controlling their own mind. They are taught to think aloud to themselves that the clients are not rejecting them, but rather, may well be rejecting themselves and their families and, consequently, leaving their lives unprotected.
The objective here is to externalise, not internalise; hence to lay blame on others, not on themselves: Before, I took rejections quite personally. I felt that he said ‘no’ to me because of something in me that he cannot accept. But now, I realise that he said ‘no’ not to me, but to his family. He is not being responsible to himself and his family. The problem lies in him, not me! I have done my best and I’ll keep on trying to convince him. But for cases that give me direct rejection, I’ll throw them away because there is no point keeping them on my mind.
It’ll be very stressful (laugh). (14) work stress among life insurance agents 137 Agents are also trained to accept rejections as a predictable, builtin part of a life insurance agent’s work. With experience, most agents would have learned to develop an attitude of acceptance: We took a course in psychology. From there we learned how to accept things as they come along. Basically, I’m a happy-go-lucky person. I’ll always ? nd a way out for myself. I don’t normally reproach myself unnecessarily. (12) Agents are trained to accept rejections as an inextricable part of their work.
In fact, they are literally told that ‘they are paid to take rejections’, and that ‘the more rejections they encounter, the better results will be. ’ So rejections are good things and agents should indeed be happy about them: My boss always tells me that insurance is very di? cult work, but it is for the same reason we are paid back such high dividends. If it was any easier, the money would not be that good, so the agent is talked (or, talking himself ) into seeing rejections as a good thing. He said, ‘If your prospect were to say yes readily, someone else would have sold the policy to him long, long ago? It is all very logical. (22) To most agents, coping is meant to refer to accessing and using psychological resources within oneself. These so-called personal or internal resources include self-discipline, mental control, rationalisations and the ability to self-motivate, accept, shift blame away from self to others, work hard, manage time and problem-solve. The emphasis here is on learning through training and experience to acquire the appropriate resources, skills and values so that, once they are internalised, they become part of the person and can be used in day-to-day coping.
It is essentially a skill-oriented, person-focussed approach, where the onus is on the person as an active agent ‘using the person’, using one’s self, one’s resources and skills. Such a personfocussed, skill-oriented concept of coping is accentuated by a general disinclination on the part of most agents (except a few) to seek and use help, support and care from the family for problem-solving or emotional support: It is very di? cult to get help from my family. (10) There is nothing much they can do about it. They won’t understand. (5) My family would not understand my work. So I would not go to them for help or support. 19) We are told to present a positive and optimistic front to everyone at all times, including our family. (19) 138 chan kwok-bun The married male agents were quite speci? c about keeping work and family life separate, not wanting work problems and frustrations to spill over into the domestic domain, thus not confounding their relationships with their spouse, children and kin members. They said they would strive to ‘arrange’ their work and familial aspects of their lives such that weekdays and occasional week evenings and Saturdays are for work while Sundays are reserved for the family.
Some reported that, in general, they do not bother to communicate with their spouses about problems and frustrations experienced at work; they cite reasons such as ‘not wanting to give them headaches’, ‘spouse not understanding my work problems’ or ‘no use to talk about problems since they would not be able to solve them for me anyway. ’ One agent attributed his disinclination to involve his wife in his work problems to ‘the Asian nature and culture’. Another agent rationalised to himself that the important thing to do ‘to keep the right balance in life’ is to maintain ‘quality time’ with his wife and children.
Two managers described their agencies as warm, cohesive places, almost like a surrogate family, bound by social, economic and emotional ties to problem-solving as well as to provide support for the individual agents. The agency was described as a place where agents are encouraged to return for care and guidance: How do you go about making yourself feel better? There are many ways. Over here, our company policy is that when you are feeling low or lost, the best thing to do is to come back to the agency and ? nd a colleague for a chit-chat.
Is this method e? ective? It is nice that peers encourage and support each other. In general, you would want to discuss with the more experienced peers—they will give you a few ideas—point to a ‘road for you to walk on’, give you a guideline, help you to solve a particular problem, or simply go out with you for a walk to release your pent-up emotions or depressed feelings. That way, you will feel much better. (10) When I am stressed or frustrated, I immediately go to other agents (here in the agency). They are always willing to help.
Four of them are very close to me. When problems come up, we talk about them among ourselves. While talking, we often come to realise that they are not my problem only—they become more normal, less serious. I always look to my more experienced colleagues—they are more likely and able to help. (15) To help create and sustain the notion of the agency as a ‘large family’, agency bulletins regularly print greetings to welcome newcomers as well as birthday messages to agency members. The intent is work stress among life insurance agents 139 o impress upon the agents that they should strive to reach their individual goals by cooperating with, supporting and caring for each other. Nonetheless, though seemingly encouraged and promoted by the management, agents only partially used social support at the agency as a way of coping with stress. Rivalry and competition between agents within the same agency or company would undermine any possible feelings of fellowship among colleagues. While some agents reported actually turning to their managers or supervisors for ‘problem-solving’ guidance and advice, they also exercised onsiderable caution in such interaction for fear of unwittingly revealing personal weaknesses, inadequacies and vulnerabilities. In practice, there are two inter-related parts to the relationship between the agent and his or her agency/company represented by a supervisor-manager: supervision and training. The agent receives supervision of varying degrees from the manager, who negotiates the kind of continuous training required to either maintain the status quo or to improve one’s sales volume. This often means customising a training programme to ? the needs of an agent in a particular stage of career development, which invariably change relative to their clients and their needs. As the life insurance industry continues to innovate by creating and introducing new products and new services, the agent ? nds it obligatory to learn new skills—both in the ‘software’ (e. g. , new ways to motivate self and client) and in the ‘hardware’ (e. g. , legal and administrative aspects of a new product). The agent needs training, and the industry ? nds ways to encourage and support it.
Thus an ethos of continuous upgrading exists. Indeed, it is a norm shared by peers in the industry, part and parcel of a collectivised coping strategy. All except one or two of the agents seemed quite clear about not seeking social support from their family for their work problems. Most tended to believe that a clear-cut separation between work and family would be an e? ective way to manage stress at work. Family relations thus become a distraction, a welcome diversion from work, where the worker learns ‘to put things aside, to forget work problems, to shut o? emporarily’. For at least two agents, the mere knowledge that their spouses will be supportive when their help and care are needed was enough without the agents actually involving them in their work problems. When it comes to using social support of colleagues or supervisors at the workplace, the agents have also learned to be selective and discretionary in deciding who is to 140 chan kwok-bun be approached for what problems and towards what ends. The ‘culture’ of the support system at the workplace is thus accessed and used by the agents with iscretion, and in his or her best interests. The life insurance industry thus provides a rather appropriate context for what we call ‘the sociology of coping’, which is focused on how groups or communities, not individuals, come to terms with and deal with their stressors. To ‘contextualise’ the coping of life insurance agents, one is required to understand how, for example, an individual’s social embedment in the larger ‘system’ and ‘culture’ of the industry would make a di? erence in one’s coping process and strategy. The more socially embedded, the more e? ctive in coping—partly because one is now receiving social support and partly because one has learned ‘the tricks of the trade’ through one’s socialisation ‘into’ the group or community. The life insurance industry in Singapore is unique in that it puts into practice a certain belief in continuous on-the-job training (or what Singaporeans commonly call ‘upgrading’), learning and self-renewal. Indeed, this belief or ideology is operationalised and institutionalised in a well-worked-out system of seminars, workshops, conferences, small-group discussions, feedback sessions, etc.
These are founded upon a central premise: an individual agent must be continuously skilled and re-skilled by the system and its knowledge to cope with oneself and a hostile social world—thus the constant reference to the social sciences, particularly psychology and social psychology, for insights, inspiration and intervention. For better or for worse, the life insurance industry in Singapore has become an active user of social science knowledge and the myriad interventions derived from it. The individual very rarely copes alone and is very rarely left alone by the life insurance ‘family’.
When socially embedded in this ‘family’, the individual obtains his or her support, expressively (it is nice to know how to deal with one’s depression or mood swings) as well as instrumentally (it is useful to know how to handle a hostile client). The ‘social fund’ is there for one to tap into; when used, this fund produces an ‘economic fund’ for the system and the individual. Work Satisfaction While the life insurance agents no doubt faced a wide range of stressors in their daily work, many of which demanded various modes work stress among life insurance agents 41 of coping and adaptation, they also reported a considerably high level of work satisfaction. Formerly construction engineers, computer programmers, factory supervisors or teachers prior to joining the life insurance business, none of the thirty agents we interviewed reported having feelings of regret over their present work; neither did they anticipate any further job change in the immediate future. All said the job was right for them, though a few did report that there were indeed lingering thoughts of quitting insurance work during the ? st two years of initiation. Several agents in fact seemed to have derived so much satisfaction from their work that they reported that their job had long become their hobby; work and hobby were indistinguishable and had in fact become one. Several agents took pains in our interviews to emphasise that everything they did in their hobbies and in life was somewhat related to their work, and vice versa. On the basis of the interview data, one would attribute the agents’ high level of work satisfaction to a combination of factors.
One important factor has to do with agents’ perceived sense of control over their work as a result of the freedom, autonomy and independence an agent’s work provides. In a signi? cant way, an agent is essentially his or her own boss, answerable and accountable mainly to oneself (thus largely dependent on one’s own personal resources such as initiative, self-discipline, self-reliance and motivation). An agent is self-employed, and his or her work has the potential of developing into an entrepreneur’s business where, at least in one’s mind, the results are a direct function of e? rt and hard work. Moreover, one derives much satisfaction from being able to generate pro? t for oneself, rather than for a company as is the case for salaried employees. Indeed, several agents reported that they had quit their former job and joined the life insurance business precisely because it o? ers the potential attraction of self-employment and entrepreneurship: I had this wish to do my own work and be my own boss. It just happened that insurance o? ered me the opportunity to realise my wish. So, naturally, I became an agent. (10)
Another factor associated with agents’ work satisfaction is their relatively high income in view of the fact that many entered the profession with educational quali? cations no higher than ‘0’ Levels, with one year of training and having passed a certifying examination considered by many as easy. The agents we interviewed made an average of three to four thousand Singapore dollars per month, while 142 chan kwok-bun several agent-managers with about ten years of experience in the business reported an average annual income of S$240,000.
One agency supervisor, herself making S$70,000 per year after seven years, reported that her 42-year-old manager was getting an annual income of S$800,000 or, as she emphasised, admiringly, ‘close to a million’. With money comes fame. The agency regularly publishes sales ? gures of top agents, the so-called ‘top high achievers’ in their company-wide bulletins. In an attempt to raise work morale and motivation, the industry periodically hands out awards and medals during conventions and congresses. One agent considered the wide publicity and recognition a successful agent received as a potent source of work satisfaction.
When successful (as indicated by insurance sales ? gures and the subsequent recognition and appreciation received from colleagues, company and friends), an agent has ? nally come around: he or she, through personal success, has managed to achieve the kind of social status and respect that society seems so reluctant to give to this profession. In a sense, personality and achievement elicit both material and non-material rewards that are due. Insurance agents spoke about the grati? cation they derived from having sold a policy where the ? ancial rewards are tangible and immediate; one can literally calculate the precise amount of commission one makes from having completed a successful transaction. Another agent actually reported that he sometimes felt guilty for having been receiving such a sizeable income for all these years in the insurance business; his friends of the same cohort in the banking sector, better educated and more intensively trained, were making less than he did. In his mind, life insurance sales work, for those who can cope and become successful at it, o? rs good pay, a clear and well-de? ned prospect of promotion (from agent through trainer and unit supervisor to, eventually, agent-cum-manager) and a distinct probability of self-employment. For many, the prospect of a quick transition from an agent to an entrepreneur within a p of ten to ? fteen years excites and motivates many a high achiever. In the process of plodding through one’s career path, the individual gets his or her own rewards in accordance with ‘the goals set and e? ort exerted’. And so it seems. work stress among life insurance agents Conclusion 43 Singapore society rejects the idea as well as the product of life insurance, which is the ‘? rst movement’ of the dialectic of encounters between a life insurance agent and society (Neo, 1996). Society thus rejects the role of being an agent, not necessarily the person in that role, though the person is very likely to internalise the rejections through self-blame and self-criticism. It is thus not so much what is wrong with the product, but what is wrong with me—a process that entails considerable psychological costs to the individual agents.
Nevertheless, the life insurance industry employs agents and trains them to di? use such societal rejections, oftentimes striving to turn such hostility around. As it happens, the agents are assigned a stigma by society, a Go? manian spoiled identity; agents are keenly aware of the intentional social distance, the chasm, that separates them and society. Agents are to be shunned by all, strangers and close social others. This is the ‘second movement’ of the Hegelian dialectic.
Note that such an analysis posits that societal rejection of life insurance as an idea and the stigma attached to life insurance agents are as much structural givens as they are historical conditions, or what the Durkheimian sociologist calls ‘social facts’ which the individual agents cannot easily ‘wish away’. The ‘third movement’ begins when the life insurance industry in general, and the agents in particular, attempt to cope with the stigma by developing an institutional culture over time; an ideological complex of values and beliefs—or, ‘tricks of the trade’, if you like.
The life insurance industry is among the few industries that are fully aware of the structural and historical causes of the myriad ‘assaults on the self ’ that happen during the daily routine of the work life of an agent. Their counter-attack is ongoing training and educational upgrading of the profession, from bottom up. A structural problem requires at the least a collective solution. Through seminars, workshops, conventions and pep-talks, the industry instils in the individual agents a ‘bag of tricks’. These include values and beliefs such as hard work, self-e? acy, self-reliance and discipline; work habits (keeping accounts and making regular cold calls); procedures for dealing with prospective clients; and a battery of coping strategies and defence mechanisms such as positive thinking (the cup is half full, not half empty), cognitive alteration or conversion (it is your loss, not mine, for not buying insurance from me), hiding and 144 chan kwok-bun compartmentalising (I make sure my family doesn’t know anything about my work problems), talking oneself into believing ‘doing good for others’ (everyone needs an insurance policy; it never rains but pours), accepting the inevitable, and so on.
Our analyses have indicated the in? ltration of academic psychology into the articulation and justi? cation of such an ideological complex. To illustrate, Seligman’s learned optimism concept (1990), Kobasa’s idea of psychological hardiness (Kobasa & Pucetti 1983) and many other psychological concepts such as resilience, personal control, competence, self-esteem and pragmatism, have found their ways into the everyday life language of the life insurance agents. It is perhaps a case of applied psychology, of the industry turning to social science for guidance and ideological justi? ation. Of course, never for a moment in the three movements of this dialectic is the individual agent a passive voice. Most signi? cantly, for example, the agent interacts with the industry culture to develop an ideological complex of his own to fend o? the ‘slings and arrows’ of his work life, which some have apparently done more successfully than others, thus enjoying considerable work satisfaction. There are good reasons to believe that the transmission of the institutional culture is often met y resistance on the part of the individual agent, especially when the culture does not allow for tension release on the one hand and demands considerable commodi? cation of emotions on the other hand. Agents are exhorted to do emotion work—to ‘never get back at bad clients’ and to ‘act nice, think positive’. In a sense, this personal ideology grounded in a larger institutional culture serves three functions. First, in a deep psychological sense, it bestows on the agent a social identity that he uses to cope with the stress of his work life.
Second, existentially, it provides the agent with a self-justi? cation of his own existence, partly because it has an altruistic dimension to it: the insurance agent is in the business of ‘doing good’, in that the family is looked after by an insurance policy should something disastrous happen to the bread-winner. Third, it also gives the agent a bag of tricks, something useful and practical in his daily encounters with society. Our interview data show rather clearly that our agents reported a considerably high level of work satisfaction.
They liked their work, had few regrets about their vocational choice and had rarely thought of quitting life insurance work except during their beginning years in the industry. Some even merged their work with their life—work and hobby became one. work stress among life insurance agents 145 One ? nds at the core of this ideological complex several rather attractive things on o? er: handsome monetary rewards; a ? ight from the tyranny of the working-class condition; and a promise for freedom, occupational autonomy and self-determination in use of time— all of which are embodied in the lure of self-employment and entrepreneurship.
To some workers in a credential society, these promises prove irresistible because the ful? lment of the Singaporean dream is the deliverance of one’s great expectations. To perhaps many others, these promises are just that: promises. Freedom, free will and self-determination (in use of time according to one’s desire) are an illusion. An agent does not e? ectually own his time, nor does he dispose of it according to his own accord. The chasm between proletariat and bourgeoisie remains real and forever self-expanding.
Still others learn that this entrepreneurial dream, even when realised, has its dark side. A self-employed person never for a moment stops ‘using his own person’, his personality or everything he owns and can rightfully call his—his time, his charm, his tolerance, his love. Having escaped from the tyranny of control by others, he now engages in the ultimate form of exploitation: exploitation of self. The chasm that separates the capitalist from the proletariat is a structural one which is bridgeable by only a few with the right strategic internal and external resources, but which remains a chasm to many.
The Singaporean dream is just that—a dream. Many agents will be caught in this black-hole-like chasm, between reality and myth, yet never fail to blame themselves for their personal failures. The moment of the ultimate nightmare will come when the life insurance industry has found ways to make direct sales to the public, e. g. , through the Internet, or when the public goes direct to the industry, as in the case of medical, house or automobile insurance (Neo, 1996). The existence of the agent is thus rendered obsolete because it has lost its value. CHAPTER NINE
INSTITUTIONAL CONTEXT AND STRESS APPRAISAL AMONG LIFE INSURANCE AGENTS Gina Lai, Chan Kwok-bun and Ko Yiu-chung Work stress as a social phenomenon and social issue has been of considerable concern to scholars and laypersons alike because of its myriad costs to individual workers a? ected and to companies that experience low productivity, absenteeism and turnover (Beehr, 1995; Sutherland & Cooper, 1988). For decades, conventional research on work stress has generally perceived individuals as passive actors, making personal adaptations to structural constraints imposed by organisations.
Work stress is often seen as a result of an individual’s failure in making adjustments to the work environment (e. g. , Beehr, 1995; Loscocco & Roschelle, 1991; Lowe & Northcott, 1988; Sutherland & Cooper, 1988). While studies adopting this view usually examine work stress by identifying the unique sources of stress experienced by particular occupational groups, they tend to overlook the relationship between the institutionalised arrangements of a profession and work stress. The regulative and normative systems of an industry and profession may well a? ct how an individual worker perceives, appraises and responds to work situations—subsequently in? uencing the level of stress the individual will experience. The present chapter aims to study how the institutionalised arrangements of the life insurance profession and industry in Singapore relate to the types and extent of work stress experienced by its workers. Insurance agents represent a unique group of workers who are both paid employees and entrepreneurs. Data from in-depth interviews with 11 agents working for di? erent life insurance companies provided background information on the norms and rules of the industry.
Insurance agents’ experiences with work stress were analysed using survey data. The information obtained from the interviews, which were conducted prior to the sample survey, enabled our understanding of the industry and guided our questionnaire construction. 148 gina lai et al. Definition of Work Stress The term ‘stress’ has been de? ned in various ways: it has been used to refer to demands that require the individual to re-adjust his or her usual behavioural patterns (Holmes & Rahe, 1967), or to the state of physiological or emotional arousal that results from the perception of demands (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984; Selye, 1974; Thoits, 1995).
In this chapter, ‘stress’ refers to the latter while the former is termed ‘stressor’. In the current research literature (Thoits, 1995), this distinction between stress and stressor is espoused. Stressors manifest themselves in episodic events or situations and are classi? ed in the literature into life events, chronic strains and daily hassles (Thoits, 1995). For an event or situation to be perceived as stressful, two appraisal processes are involved (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). First, the individual appraises the event or situation as threatening to his or her well-being.
Events or situations that individuals ? nd threatening often entail potential danger or alteration to one’s personal identity, social relations, routine behavior, and/or normal physical state. Examples include loss of a loved one from whom one derives great personal a? rmation and emotional comfort or a serious illness that causes debilitation. Second, the individual feels a need for action. He/she appraises the available resources for requisite action but is uncertain about the su? ciency or e? ectiveness of resources to successfully carry out the action.
When appraising an event or a situation as threatening, the individual, believing that action is needed and feeling that the outcome is uncertain, would experience an emotional reaction called stress (Locke & Taylor, 1990). Based on this conceptualisation of stress, ‘work stress’ refers to the emotional response to work-related events and situations. Researchers have suggested that stress may be manifested psychologically and physically, as well as behaviorally, and that such manifestations may vary across social groups de? ed by, for example, gender and social class (Pearlin, 1999). The present chapter focuses on the psychological aspect of work stress, an emphasis particularly relevant to the study of work stress among insurance agents. Insurance work is indeed emotional work. Selling insurance often assaults one’s self due to stigmatisation and rejection by society; agents whether individually or collectively are constantly forced to make psychological adjustments to and/or manipulations of their hostile work environment. Thus, it institutional context among life insurance agents 49 would be meaningful to investigate how job incumbents in the insurance industry appraise various aspects of their work and evaluate the impacts of such appraisal on their psychological well-being. Adopting a sociological perspective, the present chapter emphasises the social-structural organisation of the industry and its link to individuals’ experience (Aneshensel, 1992; Pearlin, 1989, 1999; Thoits, 1995). The appraisal of and response to work-related events and situations are thus argued to be related to the meaning attached to work, which is in? enced by the regulative and normative systems of a profession and industry. The Political Economy of the Life Insurance Industry The most important attractions o? ered by insurance work are its promises of autonomy, potentially high monetary rewards and the prospect of self-employment. Insurance agents are usually given a certain sales target to meet within a period of time if they intend to stay in the company. However, they themselves have to decide on their sales target, set their own work tempo and get their work done wherever and whenever deemed appropriate and e? ctive. To further solicit workers’ compliance with industry goals, agents are given a share of the industry’s pro? t—commissions (Chua, 1971; Neo, 1996). Work is remunerated on the basis of sales; and commissions increase as one progresses along a clear and well-de? ned career path. The pace of advancement along the career path is selfdetermined: the individual decides how fast he or she wants to move along the career ladder. Individual job performance, in terms of sales volume and ability to keep policies ‘alive’, is a requisite for career advancement.
Insurance agents thus take on a dual identity. On the one hand, they are employees who follow directives set by the company and work toward organisational goals. On the other hand, they are entrepreneurs who can determine their own career goals—which more often than not coincide with organisational interests—as well as experiment freely with various modes to achieve these goals. There is, however, a down side to the agents’ work. While the agents enjoy work autonomy and ? exibility, they also experience sustained pressure to produce (Chan & Ko, 1991).
Further, life insurance has been and still is a taboo subject for many Singaporeans (Chan & Ko, 1991), partly due to the stigma attached to death and 150 gina lai et al. disabilities. Moreover, life insurance is generally perceived as a highrisk investment because of the need for considerable long-term ? nancial commitment to an unforeseeable future. Coupled with negative stereotypes of insurance work, agents often face rejections by strangers as well as family members and close friends, subsequently breeding personal isolation and alienation.
Even worse, agents do not interact with their clients as equals. The balance of power in agent-client transactions is often tilted in favor of the clients. When faced with ‘unreasonable’ clients, agents are trained and often reminded by their supervisors not to get even for ‘bad’ client conduct, thus further perpetuating the status imbalance. Paradoxically, having escaped from the control of a boss who has legitimate rights to one’s time and labour, one now ? nds himself or herself subject to the control of many other bosses: all his real and prospective clients.
Further, the rapid growth in the insurance industry in Singapore has induced acute competitiveness and rivalry between companies as well as among agents, engendering a general feeling of distrust, tension and strain in interpersonal relations among peers. Jealousy from colleagues and interpersonal con? icts further reinforce individualism and self-isolation. Keen competition also makes it necessary for agents to intensify their labour—to self-exploit. Operating in such a hostile environment, the life insurance industry has to put up moral and social bu? rs to cushion itself against myriad adverse impacts—thus the emergence of an institutional ethos and culture as defense mechanisms. As a way to increase agents’ productivity and to sustain a certain motivational level, the industry periodically gives out awards and medals during conventions and congresses to raise workers’ morale and motivation (Chan & Ko, 1991). A culture of internal cohesiveness and mutual support is encouraged within individual life insurance companies as well as the industry as a whole.
These values not only help the industry achieve its goal of pro? t-making, but also facilitate the ability of agents to cope with mental and physical a? ictions caused by their work. Description of the Survey The analysis was based on three non-random samples, which yielded a total sample of 400 life insurance workers. First, 500 questionnaires were distributed to the agents by the managers of six major institutional context among life insurance agents 151 life insurance companies in Singapore.
Of these, 212 completed and returned their questionnaires, giving a response rate of 42. 4%. Second, with the help of the Secretary of the Singapore Life Underwriters Association, questionnaires were disseminated to 400 agents via managers who attended a series of four talks organised by the Association. This channel saw a return of 137 questionnaires, yielding a response rate of 34. 3%. Third, the Secretary distributed 100 questionnaires to insurance managers whom he knew, who in turn handed them out to their own agents.
A total of 51 questionnaires were returned this way. The overall response rate for the study was 40%. The non-random nature of the samples and relatively low response rates inevitably lead to a concern about the representativeness of our selected respondents. The relatively low response rate was probably due to the way we sampled our respondents and distributed questionnaires. We distributed the questionnaires to potential respondents through intermediaries (managers of major life insurance companies and the Secretary of the Singapore Life Underwriters Associatio

Work Stress and Coping Among Professionals in Asia

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Chronic Immobilization Stress

Chronic Immobilization Stress.

Introduction
The hippocampus is a vital region of the brain that regulates major aspects of learning, memory and emotions. The hippocampus has also been linked in the regulation and control of anxiety response and conditioned fear (Yee et al. 2007) and yet it can also retain a high degree of plasticity (McEwen, Gianaros 2010). Looking at the structure of the hippocampus, one would find a curved arrow on either hemisphere. The curved region is known as the CA1-CA3 subfields which contain the pyramidal layer while the arrow known as the dentate gyrus (DG) is made up of a granular cell layer. The neurons in CA3 (the lower part of the curve) connects directly to CA1 (the upper part of the curve), which would receive input from the DG.
Another component of the hippocampus is the brain-deprived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its specific receptor TrkB. It has been found that in previous research that there is a high level of BDNF expression in the central nervous system in which it plays an important role in the survival, protection, maintenance and differentiation from insults to neural cells (Barde, 1989). In the hippocampus however, BDNF helps with long-term potentiation (Figurov, 1996). The majority of the neural effects of BDNF are regulated by binding to the TrkB receptor (Barde, 1989). The BDNF and TrkB could also play a role in the stress response in hippampal neurons (Tapia-Arancibia et al. 2004, Pardon et al. 2005, Sirianni et al. 2010).

Previous research has observed how BDNF and TrkB in the hippocampus play a role in the regulation of the HPA axis. Its role has to do with the termination of hypothalamopituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis responses to stress (Pizarro et al. 2004, McCormick et al. 2010), essentially the regulating the stress circuit to help maintain homeostasis (Herman et al. 1995). Other studies have found that this structure regulates the HPA axis through inhibiting its activity of BDNF and TrkB (Herman et al. 1996) and that hippocampal neurons can be hypersensitive to stress (Rot et al. 2009). They are especially vulnerable to long-term damaging influence of the glucocorticoids and can decrease expressions of BDNF (McEwen and Magarinos 2001, Bartolomucci et al. 2002, Murakami et al. 2005). It has been found that the consequences of long-term exposure to stress in the hippocampus can remodel hippocampal cells, which then can result in a malfunction of the affected area (Diamond et al.1996, Bremner 1999). Different types of chronic or acute stress can modulate the reduction of BDNF and TrkB mRNA expression in the hypothalamus and in the pituitary gland of adult male rats (Rage 2002, Murakami 2005, Givalois 2001).
Stress can play a more damaging role in the hippocampal regions of young and aged rats as well. Hippocampal vulnerability and reduction in neurotrophic factors have also been found in stressed and aging rats (Smith 1996, Li Yi 2009), and as well as in age-dependent rats that were postnatally exposed to maternal deprivation, which changed the BDNF expression in selected rat brain regions (Roceri, 2004). All of which can possibly affect the structural synaptic plasticity which is has been found to be preserved in the dentate gyrus of aged rats (Geinisman, 1992) and has been linked to certain mood disorders (Duman, 2000).
Many previous studies on the role of BDNF and TrkB in the hippocampus under certain stress conditions relied mainly on the observations of modifications in the matter of these proteins in adult animals during immobilization stress (Givalois et al. 2001, Rage et al. 2002, Marmigere et al. 2003, Reagan 2007). All of which has found a difference in the expression of BDNF in certain regions of the HPA axis in adult male rats, which again can lead to the dysfunction of that affected region. Furthermore, to my knowledge no reports have been published about chronic immobilization stress-induced responsiveness of BDNF and TrkB and their role in juvenile and aged animals exposed to immobilization stress during two critical stages of brain morphologic and functional transformations. The hypothesis of the proposed study is that juvenile rats will have a reduction of the hippocampal region than those of aged rats when exposed to chronic immobilization stress.
Methods
Animal
Twenty male Sprague-Dawley rats from two age groups would be used for this study. The first group described as juvenile –JUV (postnatal 28 days) and the second group described as aged –AGE (postnatal 360 days). They would be housed in groups of five animals per plastic cage in a room maintained under standardized light (8am to 8pm-hour light-dark cycle) and temperature (22±3°C) conditions. They would be housed at least 1 week prior to the experiment. The animals would receive free access to food pellets and tap water. The care and treatment of the rats would be in accordance with the guidelines for laboratory animals established by the National Institute of Health as well as by the Local Ethical Committee of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Experimental Procedure
All tests were conducted once a day in 60-minute sessions for 20 consecutive days at the same time, between 10:00am and 3:00pm. JUV and ADT animals would be divided into experimental groups (n=5), exposed to chronic immobilization stress and control non-stressed groups (n=5), which would remain in their home cages until perfusion. The control animals would be handled for a few minutes daily by the same operator. The chronic stress stimulation would begin for JUV rats at postnatal seven days old.
Chronic Immobilization Stress
During each session, the animals would be immobilized in accordance with a well-established protocol (Badowska-Szalewska, 2010). Rats are fixed on a wooden board (18?25 cm) in a supine position by means of a leather belt, after which each of their legs was fixed at an angle of 45° to the body midline with adhesive tape (Badowska-Szalewska, 2010). Experimental and control animals were sacrificed on postnatal day 28 (JUV) and 360 (ADT), 90 min after the final session. All animals will be deeply anesthetized with a lethal dose of a drug (choice pending) and then perfuse with 0.9% saline solution with heparin, followed by 4% paraformaldehyde solution in 0.1 M phosphate buffer (pH 7.4) (Badowska-Szalewska, 2010). The brains will be removed and kept overnight and serial coronal sections of brain (40-?m-thick) will be cut.
Immunohistochemistry
Bordering sections would be processed for BDNF and TrkB with immunohistochemistry. The free-floating sections will be blocked in 10% Normal Goat Serum (NGS) for 2 hours and incubated at 4?C for 3 days with the primary polyclonal rabbit anti-BDNF antibody and primary polyclonal rabbit anti-TrkB antibody (Badowska-Szalewska, 2010). After multiple rinses in a buffered saline (TBS), the sections will be incubated (2-3 hours, room temperature) with a secondary antibody. The controls for the immunohistochemical procedures will be processed with the same procedure with the exception of the primary or secondary antibodies. Therefore, no staining will be observed in the control slides.
Qualitative Analysis
An image analysis system will be used to analyze the number of BDNF-ir and TrkB-ir positive cells in the hippocampus. The total number will be divided into three (counted separately) areas of the hippocampus: CA1 subfield, CA3 subfield and dentate gyrus (DG). The cells that will be counted are the BDNF-ir cells or TrkB-ir cells in the pyramidal layer of CA1 and CA3, and in the granular layer of DG. The hemisphere and sampling will be chosen at random. The data will be analyzed by a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) for the factor groups (intact vs. chronic immobilization stress) and age groups (juvenile-JUV and aged-AGE).
Expected Results
Under chronic immobilization stress exposure, juvenile rats should have a significant decrease in the density of BDNF immunoreactive (ir) neurons and TrkB-ir cells should be observed in CA1, CA3 and DG. After chronic immobilization stress exposure of aged rats, the density of BDNF-ir and TrkB-ir cells should not decline in any of the sub-regions of the hippocampus.
Discussion
The present study would investigate the age-related changes in the density of BDNF-ir and TrkB-ir neurons in the under the exposure of immobilized stress. Prolonged forced swim has been found to affect the amount of BDNF-ir and TrkB-ir cells in the hippocampus of juvenile, not aged rats (Badowska 2010). The number of cells that contains these proteins would be higher in DG than in CA1 or CA3, which is mostly to be related to the various intrinsic and extrinsic interactions of the denrate gyrus (Amaral and Witter 1989). If proven, then the high levels of BDNF and TrkB that are present in the hippocampus indicate that these molecules have important physiological functions in different stages of life (Tapia-Arancibia et al. 2008). It is extremely important as demonstrated during adolescence; BDNF influences almost all aspects of development, including stimulation of growth, differentiation of neuronal stem cells and many other various roles (Mattson et al. 2004, Tapia-Arancibia et al. 2004). The flip side of the coin is that during aging, BDNF may play a protective role by preventing neurodegeneration, and stimulating sprouting in the hippocampus (Smith 1996, Tapia-Arancibia et al. 2004), or increasing neuronal repair (Smith et al. 1995). As for TrkB, it exerts positive influence on dendritic branching and dendrtic integrity/plasicity in the hippocampus (Sato et al. 2001), therefore a reduction in the level of this protein may be underlying factor in the synaptic changes that occur with age in the hippocampus (Geinisman et al. 1992). It is also known that adolescent rats, versus adult subjects, tend to be more susceptible to the influence of aversive stimuli, which is created by HPA axis activation (Avital and Richter-Levin 2005, Lupien 2009), by the prolonged secretion of glucocorticoid (Romeo et al. 2004, Cruz et al. 2008, McCormick et al. 2010). Also the expression of BDNF and TrkB is possibly regulated in opposite direction, meaning that the growth of BDNF content occurs with the fall in the level of TrkB in the hippocampal cells of aged rats (Frank et al. 1997, Nibuya et al. 1999, Sommerfeld et al. 2000, Silhol M et al. 2007, Tapia-Arancibia et al. 2008).Therefore, the higher density of BDNF-ir and the lower density of TrkB-ir cells in AGE group of experimental rats may signify their protective effects against hippocampal damage of aging animals in stress conditions. This study will demonstrate that hippocampal subfields of juvenile and aged rats show different density of BDNF and TrkB immunostaining cells. Chronic immobilization stress would influence the density of BDNF-ir and TrkB-ir in juvenile animals and the aged rats would be the determining factor in the changes in the density of BDNF-ir and TrkB-ir in the hippocampal regions.
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Chronic Immobilization Stress

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Chemical Stress Testing

Chemical Stress Testing.
Latasha Birge March 21st, 2013 MC 205 Week 4 Instructor Rein Chemical Stress Testing A chemical stress test is used when a traditional stress test (called a cardiac stress test) cannot be done. A cardiac stress test requires you to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bicycle until your heart rate reaches a level where your heart is “stressed”. You may not be able to participate in this kind of test if you have a condition such as a stroke.
In this case, a chemical stress test is used. This test is used to help your doctor determine if you have any kind of heart condition causing the chest pain, if arteries to the heart have blockage or narrowing, identify an irregular heart rhythm, monitor the heart’s response to treatment or procedures, and plan rehabilitation after a heart attack. A stress test is a clinical standard often used to detect coronary artery disease.
The imaging portion of the test is identical to that used during stress echocardiography or isotope stress testing and is performed either in a cardiologist office, a satellite lab or the hospital. An intravenous line is started in the arm, the blood pressure is checked and an EKG recorded. Common medications used for a chemical stress test include dipyridamole, dobutamine, and adenosine.

Medication is supplied until 85 percent of your age-predicted maximum heart rate has been reached. In the initial phases of exercise in the upright position, cardiac output is increased by an augmentation in stroke volume meditated through the use of the Frank-Starling Mechanism and heart rate. Treadmill stress testing is the test of choice when a patient is able to exercise because of the physiologic effect that exercise has on the blood pressure and heart rate.
It also helps give the physician an idea about the patient’s exercise tolerance and whether or not the exertion has any adverse effects on the patient’s symptoms or irregular heartbeats. The treadmill test involves walking on the treadmill at a predetermined intensity based off of your fitness level. Every three minutes the speed will be increased. This continues until you reach 85 percent of the age predicted maximal heart rate. References www. thirdage. com>chemical-sress-test www. livestrong. com www. heartsite. com

Chemical Stress Testing

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Stress

Coping Stressess in Problem-Focused Method

Coping Stressess in Problem-Focused Method.
CLASS DISCUSSION It may seem that there’s nothing you can do about stress. But you always have more control than you might think. Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. For example, in dealing with an exam as a stressor, different people will have a range of different coping responses.
Problem-focused strategy has three steps-taking control, information seeking and evaluating the pros and cons. Comparing with the emotional-focused strategy, as a manger, I would personally prefer using the problem-focused strategy in coping with stress, since it can high effectively removes the stressor, and deals with the root cause of the specific problem. This way, it will provide a long-term solution.
In contrast, emotional-focused stragety means the reduction of negative emotional responses associated with stresses, for example embarrassment and anxiety, is less effective than using a problem-focused strategy. Reasons are emotional-focused strategy are more focused on emotions, rather than the actual root cause of the problem therefore it cannot provide long-term solution.

As a manager, I would ensure my employees are using the problem-focused strategy in the following way-figure out what is the root cause of the problem, and try to motivate employees to change the relationship between themselves and stressor, for example, escaping from the stress or removing the stress; Secondly, I will make sure if my employees really understand the situation for example using the internet, and help them solving the problem, so that to avoid having the same problem in the future.
Finally, I will let my employees to analyze and evaluate the pros and cons of the problem and figure out different options in dealing with the stressor.

Coping Stressess in Problem-Focused Method

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Heat Stress in Workplac

Heat Stress in Workplac.
August 2001 . HEATSTROKE / SUN STROKE This is not necessarily the result of exposure to the sun. It is caused by exposure to an environment in which the body can no longer rid itself of excess heat. As a result, the body soon reaches a point where the heat-regulating mechanism breaks down completely and the internal temperature rises rapidly. SYMPTOMS Hot , dry skin which maybe red or bluish, severe headache, visual disturbances, rapid temperature rise, The v ictim s h o u ld b e r e m v d fro m o e t h e h e a t i mm d i a t e l y e and c o o le d r a p id ly , u s u a lly by wra p p i n g i n c o o l , we t s h e e t s .
PRECAUTIONS Acclimatization: Acclimatize workers to heat by giving them short exposures, followed by gradually longer periods of work in the hot environment. Mechanical Cooling: Forced ventilation and spot cooling by mechanical means (fans, blowers) are helpful in cooling. Using power tools rather than manual labour keeps the body cooler. Rehydration: W o r k e r s should be advised to drink water beyond the point of thirst (every 15 to 20 minutes) . High-carbohydrate diet tends to increase fluid absorption and caffinated beverages like coffee tend to increase Safety & Fire Department
For more detailed information on Heat Stress, please refer to the proceeding pages. HEAT STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE Heat stress includes a series of conditions where the body is under stress from overheating. It can include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash or heat stroke. Each produces bodily symptoms that can range from profuse sweating to dizziness to cessation of sweating and collapse. Heat stress can be caused by high temperatures, heavy work loads, the type of clothing being worn, etc. It is important to know the signs of heat stress and the proper first aid to treat it. See Common Forms of Heat Stress and recommended first aid on page 4). The signs of heat stress are often overlooked by the victim. The employee may at first be confused or unable to concentrate, followed by more severe symptoms such as fainting and/or collapse. If heat stress symptoms occur, move the employee to a cool, shaded area, give him water and immediately contact the supervisor. At Risk Employees Some employees are more likely to have heat disorders than others. Younger employees and those more physically fit are often less likely to have problems.

Employees with heart, lung or kidney disease, diabetes and those on medications are more likely to experience heat stress problems. Diet pills, sedatives, tranquilizers, and caffeinated drinks can all worsen heat stress effects. It often takes two to three weeks for employees to become acclimatized to a hot environment. This acclimatization can subsequently be lost in only a few days away from the heat. Thus employees should be more cautious about heat stress after coming back from a vacation, when beginning a new job, or after the season’s first heat wave.
In short, precautions should be taken anytime there are elevated temperatures (approaching 33 degrees C) and the job is physically demanding. Other Factors Other heat stress factors are also very important. In addition to temperature, increased relative humidity, decreased air movement or lack of shading from direct heat (radiant temperature) will all affect the potential for heat stress. Prevention of Heat Stress – Supervisors • Allow time for employees to adjust to hot jobs when possible. It often takes two to three weeks for an employee to become acclimated to a hot environment. • Adjust the work schedule, if possible.
Assign heavier work on cooler days or during the cooler part of the day. • Reduce the workload. Increase the use of equipment during the summer period to reduce physical labor. • • Establish a schedule for work and rest periods during hot days. Train workers to recognize signs and symptoms of heat stress disorders and be prepared to give first aid if necessary. • Choose appropriate employees. Avoid placing “high risk” employees in hot work environments for extended time periods. Realize individual employees vary in their tolerance to heat stress conditions. Prevention of Heat Stress – Site Workers Learn to recognize the symptoms of heat stress. Pace the work, taking adequate rest periods (in shade or cooler environment). • Use adequate fans for ventilation and cooling, especially when wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). • Site workers have to wear regulation overalls and hardhats. Always try to keep shaded from direct sunshine when possible. Your hardhat will not only protect your head from falling objects and such, but will also protect your head from direct sunshine. • Drink plenty of water. In hot environments the body requires more water than it takes to satisfy thirst.
Small quantities taken at frequent intervals, about 150-200 mL of water every 15 to 20 minutes is an effective method for body fluid replacement. COMMON FORMS OF HEAT STRESS Condition Heat Cramps Signs/Symptoms Painful muscle spasms First Aid Salt water intake (. 5% solution) Sport drink intake (Gatorade) Rest in cool environment Heavy sweating —————————————————————-Brief fainting Blurred vision Water intake Lie down in cool environment Heat Syncope —————————————————————-Dehydration Fatigue Reduced movement Fluid and salted food intake
Heat Exhaustion —————————————————————-Pale and clammy skin Lie down in cool environment Possible fainting Water intake Weakness, fatigue Loosen clothing Nausea Dizziness Heavy sweating Blurred vision Body temp slightly elevated —————————————————————-Cessation of sweating Immediate, total cooling Skin hot and dry Transport to hospital Red face High body temperature Unconsciousness Collapse Convulsions Confusion or erratic behavior Life threatening condition —————————————————————–
Heat Stroke Please direct any safety questions or concerns to SFE/2 the Safety and Fire Department, RAA. Tel: 440-2534

Heat Stress in Workplac

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