What are the Different Types of Environmental Stressors?

Environmental stressors are viewed as pressures or dynamics that affect our ecosystems or processes resulting from human and associated activities. Environmental stressors may increase mental or emotional stress in our lives. There are many different potential causes of environmental stress, including extreme temperatures, loud noise, war, crime, large crowds and pollution. 

Environmental stressors can be classified into several types, including physical stressors, biological stressors, chemical stressors, and social and psychological stressors. These stressors can have significant impacts on our ecosystems, human health, and overall well-being.

In this blog, we will discuss the different types of environmental stressors and how environmental stress affects our physical and mental health. Let's get started!

Understanding the Different Types of Environmental Stressors

Environmental Stressors
Environmental Stress

What are Environmental Stressors?

Stress is a body's reaction to specific demands and eventsOngoing stress can affect a person's health and wellbeing. 
Environmental stress refers to a negative emotional, cognitive and behavioral responses to an environmental stimulus in a particular situation. 
Environmental stress theory is the body of science that analyzes how stress factors from the environment affect people, communities, cultures, the ecology of animals, plants, and ecosystems and deals with stress from threatening issues in the environment. 
Environmental stressors are stimuli in our environment that cause stress. Environmental stressors are usually classified into different categories: catastrophic events, stressful life events, daily hassles, and ambient stressors.

There are many types of stress factors associated with the environment, ranging from climate conditions to cell phone radiation to life situation stressors. Generally, they do not get a lot of attention but have a big impact on our health. 

Types of Environmental Stressors

Here, we have mentioned eight types of environmental stressors that can tell you a lot about why we always seem to be on edge.

1. Climate Stressors
2. Major Disturbance Stressors
3. Anthropogenic Stressors
4. Ergonomic Stressors
5. Energetic Stressors
6. Chemical Stressors
7. Biological Stressors
8. Physical Environment Stressors

Climate Stressors

Climate change is one of the biggest climate stresses facing a global level. Climate stressors come from weather and climate such as a heatwave or low-light levels in wintertime, or long-term climate shifts. They can last for a season or can be an overall shift.

A summer heat that causes extremely high temperatures in a city, whose citizens generally do not use air-conditioning units such as Seattle, is climate stress. 
Climate stressors have already caused many physical and mental health challenges throughout the world, as individuals, communities, and even nations are forced to adapt to shifts in global temperatures, weather patterns, storm intensity, and sea level. 

Some island nations may have to leave their entire lives in the form of sea-level rise, citizens have to be forced to move somewhere else. In other areas, citizens and economies diminish because snow affects cities. 
Changing weather patterns can disturb electricity availability, and while power outages are inconvenient to all, they can be life-threatening to the elderly and ill who have less resilience to extreme weather. 
Climate stressors also have many chronic mental health impacts such as higher rates of aggression and violence, more mental health emergencies, an increased sense of helplessness, hopelessness, or fatalism, and intense feelings of loss.

Major Disturbance Stressors

Major disturbances in life come from natural disasters or national emergency and life changes like a move or divorce. 
People may experience intense, unpredictable emotions, sensitivity to the environment, and vivid memories or dreams after major disturbances and natural disasters. 
The most intense effects, of course, will be for those with the closest proximity. However, any major disturbance that affects community or life – even though the news – such calamities cause long-term, low-level stress. 

A major disturbance can be caused due to epidemic diseases such as Ebola hitting West Africa, an act of violence that kills racial injustice. Personal issues such as divorce or loss of any loved ones can also act as a major disturbance or unrest. 
Active military and veterans, especially those who serve in the theater of war, also have to face great trouble. 
The body can initially respond to intense incidents with a fight-or-flight reaction. But after months and years of TV network forgot a tragedy, people are rebuilding their homes or communities - and they are being affected by residual stress. 
Another common reaction is to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in which a person is triggered by stimuli in his environment.

Anthropogenic Stressors

Today, the world is so different than its previous natural state; we face the anthropogenic stressors of noise, movement, and crowding. With 7 billion people on earth, humanity is stressful on natural systems. 
Species are disappearing and ecosystems are being damaged. More than half of the world's tropical and temperate forests have gone now, and the global loss of coastal wetlands has kept one-third of humanity which lives within 100 km of the sea at greater risk than sunlight and storm. 
Most people live in an environment that is very much crying with the more natural setting that humanity produces. While cities have their perks, traffic, the constant noise, movement, and crowding take their toll on the body and mind. 
People who live near the car, aircraft, and railway noise experience higher blood sugar and diabetes, greater arterial stiffness, increased blood pressure and higher levels of stress hormones. 
Anthropogenic stressors also affect in subtle and conspicuous ways. Crowding and excess stimuli in our environments caused by overpopulation or just having millions of people living together in small spaces can cause depression and emotional stress.

Ergonomic Stressors

Ergonomic stressors come from factors that affect our body posture and spinal alignment.  
We may experience ergonomic stress from bad posture, poor shoes, exercise injury and sitting or standing for too many hours at a time. 
Most workplaces have not been designed in the brain with people's true needs and health. So they often cause ergonomic stress, as well. But studies have shown that in particular nature can reduce environmental and ergonomic stress on the environment. 
Work environments with greenery and sunlight had 15 percent greater employee productivity. Working in biophilic workplaces may cause feeling happier, more creative and more motivated for the people.

Energetic Stressors

Recently many studies have found that the radio-frequency waves emitted by cell phone radiation cause brain tumors in rats and disturbances to the body and mind in human beings. 
Energetic stressors can come from constant cell phone use as well as exposure to electromagnetic radiation. As we know, there are many different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation in the Earth which travel through time and space, including radio waves, microwaves, visible light, ultraviolet (UV), X-ray and gamma rays. 
All these invisible rays can have an impact on our health and welfare. These waves of energy are also called electric and magnetic field (EMF) radiation, and they exist in two forms, ionizing and non-ionizing, Ionizing radiation comes from UV, X-rays, and gamma rays. Ionizing radiation can cause cellular and DNA damage. 
Non-ionization comes from microwave, visible light, radiofrequency waves, and extremely low-frequency waves (ELF) - although long-term exposure to microwave damages the body tissues. Energetic stressors can arise when there is a disruption in the normal electromagnetic field at any wavelength

Chemical Stressors

According to the researchers of Harvard University, industrial chemicals that are widespread in the environment have caused a “global, silent pandemic of neurodevelopment toxicity” causing harm to the brains of the next generation. 

A few hundred years ago, people were surrounded by nature and had eaten naturally grown foods. 
Today, we live in a more industrialized and chemical-saturated world and encounter thousands of chemicals daily: pesticide residue on our food, antibiotics, and hormones fed to food animals, and our beauty and chemical products in household products and even in our carpets and furniture. 
While they may not cause blatant mental stress – unless we live next door to a chemical factory – these substances physically stress the body. 
Although there are natural detoxification procedures in the body of the liver and kidneys, these organs rarely come with thousands of chemicals, which means they accumulate in the body and brain, potentially causing chemical stress and many long-term health problems.

Biological Stressors

When the body’s immune system can not keep up properly, a major illness may occur. For example, biological stressors in the form of pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and parasites, as well as allergens. 
Many people have food allergies and sensitivities – sometimes we may not even know about them – that affect the proper functioning of the digestive system, which in turn affects everything from our skin to our mental health. 
f someone has allergies, he knows it very well, but allergens are substances in the environment that cause an allergic reaction in the body, ranging from grain to sneezing and serious watery eyes for allergic reactions that affect the air from the eyes. 
Sometimes autoimmune diseases may cause our body to attack itself. These cause mental stress and physical constraints on our body’s ability to naturally overcome the issue.

Physical Environment Stressors

From the beginning of humanity, people used minimal light at night, but today, most people use lights late in the evening, including light from our cell phones. Physical environmental stressors can include alterations to natural light, color, and energetic vibrations. 
Too much sunshine or not enough can work as both stresses. During winter, people living in northern latitudes without sunlight can experience seasonal affective disorder, during these situations the depression and "blues" situation. 

According to the researchers, the excess and unnatural light affects our body’s circadian rhythms and lowers levels of the sleep hormone melatonin, which means disrupted sleep cycles. 
Blue wavelength mostly causes problems in the evening hours. Artificial lights, especially blue lights and fluorescent lights, which are used in many work environments, can tense our brain and body. 
Even energy-efficient LED light bulbs, which are often described as the better alternative for the environment can also create stress on the body and mind.
The Scientific World

The Scientific World is a Scientific and Technical Information Network that provides readers with informative & educational blogs and articles. Site Admin: Mahtab Alam Quddusi - Blogger, writer and digital publisher.

Previous Post Next Post