A nation under pressure: former U.S. Surgeon General speaks about stress in America
Americans are over-stressed and that has serious implications for our health. That was the message former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy brought to Masur Auditorium in the NIH Clinical Center Sept. 7. Speaking at the Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture hosted by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Murthy outlined his concern that stress among Americans is at dangerous levels.
Murthy drew a distinction from short-term stress, like before a test or a public performance, which can deliver positive results and even assist with healing. His concern centered on long-term, chronic stress which can be linked to workplaces that are increasingly fast paced, to constantly being connected to media through smartphones and, "The idea that you would go to work at nine and leave at five and then spend time with your family has been replaced by [the idea] that you're accessible through email and technology 24/7," stated Murthy.
He suggested that exercise, sleep, social connection through in-person interactions with others and meditation are effective counters to chronic stress. View the full conversation between NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins and Murthy on videocast.