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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) define stress as "the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them".
Don't confuse positive pressure, which can create a 'buzz', and the harmful effects of pressure that is beyond a person's ability to cope.
There is a growing awareness of the importance of health and safety and recognition that healthy employees make a greater contribution to a business. People are more aware of the harmful effects of stress in workplaces but it is not new - psychologists have been studying stress since the 1950s.