Practical analysis for investment professionals
21 February 2014

Poll: How Do You Manage Day-to-Day Work-Related Stress?

Stress is an inconvenient truth of professional life. It has many causes, such as a difficult sales target, a tight project deadline, or unreasonable behavior by a client or a colleague. But whatever the cause, the effect of stress is the same: the stiffness in body and mind, the inability to have fun, and the vulnerability to anger. In a poll conducted in the CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief, we asked readers how they cope with stress.

What is your primary method for managing day-to-day work-related stress?
What is your primary method for managing day-to-day work-related stress?

Our readers gave us a clear answer: 54% of our 940 respondents reported that their primary method is physical leisure activities, such as a work out, be it walking or running. Non-physical leisure activities, such as browsing the Internet, came in a distant second, at 17%, followed by drinking and smoking as well as spending time with family and friends.

Many would agree that stress is a hard nut to crack. We probably use all these methods and more to manage it and still can’t help feeling stressed out! It is little wonder that stress is called the global epidemic of the 21st century. To learn more about what a company can do about stress and what it can do to a company, watch this short video interview: “Stress at Work: A New Global Epidemic?

Do you want to participate in future polls? Sign up for the CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief.

Please note that the content of this site should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute.

About the Author(s)
Usman Hayat, CFA

Usman Hayat, CFA, writes about sustainable, responsible, and impact investing and Islamic finance. He is the lead author of "Environmental, Social, and Governance Issues in Investing: A Guide for Investment Professionals;" the literature review, "Islamic Finance: Ethics, Concepts, Practice;" and the research report "Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing and Islamic Finance: Similarities and Differences." He is interested in online learning and has directed three e-courses for CFA Institute: "ESG-100," "Islamic Finance Quiz," and "Residual Income Equity Valuation." The other topics he writes about are macroeconomics and behavioral finance. He has experience working in securities regulation and as an independent consultant. His qualifications include the CFA charter, the FRM designation, an MBA, and an MA in development economics. He has served as a content director at CFA Institute. He is a former executive director at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and former CEO of the Audit Oversight Board (Pakistan). His personal interests include reading and hiking.

7 thoughts on “Poll: How Do You Manage Day-to-Day Work-Related Stress?”

  1. Mirka Chezckita says:

    Interesting poll and interesting results! But I think the most important stress-management methods was missing from your list, the three letter activity which sustains human race.

    1. Jack Wackles says:


      Do you mean run? 🙂

      1. Allen Xiao says:

        No one mentioned sleeping?

        1. Allen Xiao,

          Thanks for visiting the blog and posting your comment.
          Yes, I did consider including “sleeping” as a possible method of managing stress, along with a number of other methods. But at the same time, I had to limit the number of choices to keep things simple. Hopefully, “Others” was able to offer people a reasonable option if their primary method of managing stress was not listed.

      2. Mirka Chezckita says:


        Why will I say “run”? It was included in the their list…run, walk , yoga.

  2. robert albers says:

    The myth of “doing something” to reduce the effects of stress is common.

    Insufficient sleep is our most common habit, since we perceive sleep as a waste of productive time. Insufficient sleep makes the brain more emotionally unstable.

    Easier to anger, anxiety and more likely to remember negative events. Executive function is impaired even in people who feel alert. Increased intelligence and individual “drive” does not compensate for insufficient sleep.

    Our daytime productivity is reduced by chronic short sleep and not improved by an extra hour or 2 of sleep on the weekend

    You would provide your readers a great benefit by interviewing Dr David Dinges, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, former editor of SLEEP(#1 research journal)

    Robert Albers, MD
    retired sleep physician

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