ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Keep Your Cool with Standards during Stress Awareness Month

New York, Apr 09, 2013

No one enjoys the tense, overwhelmed feeling that comes with too much stress, but the fast-paced nature of modern life means that virtually everyone has suffered at least temporarily from an overload of stress. High stress levels can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and many other illnesses, making stress relief a key component of emotional and physical health. Since 1991, the Health Resource Network (HRN) has sponsored the annual celebration of Stress Awareness Month each April, in order to educate the public on stress, its dangers, and effective coping methods. In connection with this goal, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is proud to support the development of standards related to popular stress-relieving activities.

One popular method for addressing heightened stress levels is to make the switch from coffee to tea. While both black and green tea contain enough caffeine to get you going in the morning, they also work to decrease levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone that can be elevated by consuming coffee. A standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) specifies the parts of the tea plant that are suitable for the creation of green tea, as well as associated packing and marking requirements. ISO 11287:2011, Green tea - Definition and basic requirements, was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 34, Food products, subcommittee (SC) 8, Tea. ANSI member the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) serves as the ANSI-accredited administrator of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO TC 34.

Getting a massage can be an effective stress reliever, especially if you work doing heavy labor or in a physically stressful field. IEC 60335-2-32 Ed. 4.1 b:2008, Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-32: Particular requirements for massage appliances, provides safety guidelines for the use of many types of home electric massagers, including handheld massagers, as well as for massage belts, pads, chairs, and beds. The standard was developed by International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) TC 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances. Secretariat duties for TC 61 are performed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an ANSI member and audited designator. UL also serves as the U.S. National Committee (USNC)-approved U.S. TAG Administrator to TC 61.

While the old cliché that laugher is the best medicine doesn’t apply in most cases – try finding a physician who will prescribe comedy to treat gout or a bleeding ulcer! – laughter is thought to have stress-fighting powers, making an evening spent at home watching your favorite sitcom a smart way to de-stress after a difficult day. ANSI member the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) has developed a standard, ATIS-0100502.2005(R2010), System M-NTSC Television Signals - Network Interface Specifications and Performance Parameters, that defines performance parameters and other values for television transmission service channel supporting 525-line, system M-NTSC color monochrome video and related audio signals.

Another way to combat feelings of stress is by listening to classical music, which studies suggest can have a powerful calming effect. If you choose to take in some Mozart at an outdoor festival, a standard developed by ANSI-accredited standards developer and organizational member PLASA, formerly known as the Entertainment Services and Technology Association, has you covered—literally. ANSI E1.21-2006, Temporary Ground-Supported Overhead Structures Used to Cover Stage Areas and Support Equipment in the Production of Outdoor Entertainment Events, sets down minimum design and performance guidelines for temporary outdoor stage roofs that are used for concerts, outdoor festivals, and other similar events. The standard is intended to assist organizers in making sure that sun and rain do not negatively affect performers and equipment; the standard also provides some instructions for limiting damage related to violent storms.

By supporting these and other methods of stress release, standards help individuals manage stress throughout Stress Awareness Month and all year long.

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