The impact of stress on employees in the UK has been highlighted in a new research paper from the Stroke Association.

Many UK workers are turning to alcohol, cigarettes and comfort food to deal with the stress of their jobs, the Stroke on Business report reveals.

This can have a detrimental effect on their health and can increase the risk of serious health problems, including strokes.

According to the research 73 per cent of UK employees feel stress as a result of work and in order to cope 43 per cent eat more, 34 per cent drink more and 23 per cent smoke more.

In contrast, just 13 per cent of the UK workforce exercises to alleviate stress.

The Stroke Association and Siemens, which also contributed to the report, are urging employers to encourage their staff to de-stress through exercise.

Andreas Goss, chief executive of Siemens UK, said: "Regular exercise is absolutely key for individuals and businesses in maintaining a healthy, happy and productive workforce."

Meanwhile, sustainable transport charity Sustrans is calling on employers to promote active commuting and encourage their staff to walk or cycle to work.