SHAMOKIN - Members of the Brush Valley Chamber of Commerce learned some tips on reducing stress in the workplace during a luncheon Tuesday at the Original Italian Pizza restaurant.

Guest speaker Gail Jasman, a registered nurse with the Geisinger Health System, spoke to the 30 members and guests in attendance about two types of stress, either acute or chronic.

"Acute stress is caused by problems right in front of you," Jasman said. "Chronic stress is dealing with the continuing stress levels that just keeps rising and rising."

Jasman said that according to research studies, workplace stress costs companies a total of $300 billion a year in health care costs, absenteeisms, increased accident rates or claimes, deterioration of interpersonal relations and increased staff turnovers.

"Chronic stress can cause anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory and concentration impairment." Jasman said.

After identifying the cause of stress and what can happen when there is too much, Jasman gave attendees some tips about reducing stress for employees.

"One thing you can do for your employees is to encourage them to take lunch breaks, to get away from their desks," Jasman said. "You can also reward your employees with a surprise treat or coffee, or even holding an employee appreciation day."

Chamber executive director Whitney Fetterman thanked Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital for sponsoring Tuesday's luncheon.

She reminded everyone about the chamber's upcoming fundraiser, the duck drop race to be held at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 27.

The ducks will be dropped from the bridge on Water Street behind the Original Italian Pizza restaurant in Shamokin. Ducks will travel down the Shamokin Creek toward the finish line at the Claude Kehler Park bandshell.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the top three ducks. Tickets cost $5 are available at the chamber office in the Career and Arts Center, and in downtown Shamokin on the day of the race.

Any chamber member or business that wants to be a sponsor for the race can contact the chamber office at 570-648-4675.