Stress is a fact of modern life. According to a 2009 study by the American Psychological Association, nearly 70% of employees suffer from stress related to their job and more than half report stress resulting from family responsibilities. In order to educate the general public on stress-related topics and effective coping mechanisms, the Health Resource Network sponsors the annual celebration of Stress Awareness Month each April. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and its Federation of members are proud to support the development of standards related to popular stress-relieving activities.
For many people, massage is the best way to recover from a stress-filled day. While hiring a licensed massage therapist is a popular option, it is also possible to get many of the same benefits with a chair or handheld massager. UL 1647-2012a, Standard for Safety for Motor-Operated Massage and Exercise Machines, sets down safety guidelines for these devices. The standard was developed by UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.), an ANSI member and audited designator.
Listening to music, particularly classical pieces, has been shown to have a calming effect on the body. If you want to de-stress by taking in a classical concert, there's an American National Standard from ANSI-accredited standards developer and organizational member PLASA, formerly known as the Entertainment Services and Technology Association, that is ready to lend a hand. ANSI E1.8-2012, American National Standard E1.8 - 2012 Entertainment Technology-Loudspeaker Enclosures Intended for Overhead Suspension-Classification, Manufacture and Structural Testing, provides structural requirements that help concert organizers to keep these performances safe for their audiences.
Throughout Stress Awareness Month and the rest of the year, standards play an important role in supporting activities and technologies that relieve stress and improve mental and physical health.