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Learning has long been recognised as a cornerstone for success, but did you know it can help us manage stress and avoid burnout? A new workplace study from the US has revealed that engaging in learning activities trumps relaxation to combat stress on the job.

Harvard Business Review has reported on two US studies that found learning activities can “buffer” the negative consequences of stress, such as feelings of anxiety, unethical behaviour and burnout.

The studies, involving more than 300 employees from various industries, were led by Chen Zhang (Tsinghua University), Christopher Myers (Johns Hopkins University) and David Mayer (University of Michigan). They considered how learning could relieve the scrambled-brain state of a stressed employee. The first study collected daily data to track the feelings and activities of participants over a two-week period, while the second study used paired-survey responses to link employees’ activities and feelings with what their supervisors observed.

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