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New Study Links Job Stress to Clothing, Footwear Policies

(April 15, 2013)

ATLANTA, April 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new study released today shows that what people wear to work directly correlates with their stress levels, including their footwear.



The study, which surveyed 584 male and female workers in a broad variety of ages, employment, and industries, was conducted by Alexander Babbage, one of the nation's leading strategic consumer research firms.



Key findings of the study include:



  • The more formal the dress code, the more stressful the work environment. While stress in the workplace overall is high (71 percent reported moderate to high stress levels), those who dress casually or have no dress code are more likely to report lower stress levels.




  • Weekly "casual days" at work are beneficial: 36 percent of the respondents describe their stress level as lower on casual days.




  • Those who wear flip flops frequently are more likely to have lower/non-existent stress levels than those who wear more formal options like lace-ups/heels or even loafers/flats. Compared to those who wear loafers/flats, individuals who wear flip flops frequently are twice as likely to report low/no stress levels. And, compared to those wearing lace-ups/heals, those who wear flip flops frequently are nearly three times as likely to report low/no stress levels.




  • While 30 percent overall agree that wearing flip flops to the office can reduce stress, that number increases to nearly half (47 percent) among those who wear flip flops regularly to work.




  • More than half of the respondents who wear flip flops to work frequently believe that wearing them can also help to reduce stress in their personal lives.



The research is part of a campaign—"the Heart To Sole: Creating A Stress-Free America"—launched by Flip Flop Shops. The campaign's mission is to reduce stress levels, improve heart health and support the American Heart Association after Brian Curin, the President and Co-Founder (Size 10) of Flip Flop Shops underwent lifesaving open-heart surgery in September to repair the complete to near-complete blockage in his four main arteries. Doctors linked the problem in part to stress that Curin endured earlier in his career.




"Doctors estimated that I was just days to weeks away from enduring a fatal heart attack that would have undoubtedly cost me my life," added Curin. "Stress is a silent killer that has been found to play a role in many health problems, including heart disease. With nearly three out of four people under moderate to extreme stress in the workplace every day, a change needs to start in Corporate America."



Curin is encouraging employers to make widespread changes in their cultures to promote stress-free, healthier work environments, including implementing mandatory annual stress tests (a treadmill test or exercise test) to detect potential heart problems. To increase awareness, Flip Flop Shops will be urging companies to sign an online pledge committing to "Flip Flop Fridays" in June and donate $2 to the American Heart Association for every employee who pledges to participate.



Alan McKeon, president and CEO of Alexander Babbage noted that the findings are part of a two-phase study. Phase one was to measure consumer attitudes about stress levels in the workplace through online. The research firm will execute a second phase this summer by implementing a temporary casual dress code in high-stress workplaces and measuring employee stress levels.



For more information about "the Heart To Sole: Creating A Stress-Free America" campaign or if you would like to donate, visit https://www.facebook.com/FlipFlopShopsFanpage.



About the Heart To Sole: Creating a Stress-Free America Campaign



Customers who donate $5 to the campaign through www.FlipFlopShops.com will receive 20 percent off their next online purchase. In June, during Flip Flop Shops' newly declared "Stress-Free America Month," Flip Flop Shops customers can make donations at the register in increments of $1, $2, and $5. Plus, Flip Flop Shops will donate $1 for every pair of SANÜK Yoga Mat or Beer Cozy flip flops purchased throughout the month. For more information about Flip Flop Shops and "the Heart To Sole" campaign visit the company's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FlipFlopShopsFanpage. More information on reducing stress can be found on the American Heart Association website.



The Heart To Sole: Creating a Stress-Free America Logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=17301



About Flip Flop Shops



Founded in 2004, Flip Flop Shops is North America's first retail chain exclusive to the hottest brands and latest styles of flip flops and sandals from big names such as SANÜK, REEF, Cobian, Quiksilver, ROXY, OluKai and Cushe. Flip Flop Shops began franchising in January 2008 and continues to be recognized by industry leaders as one of the fastest-growing franchises and retailers in the nation. Company accolades include: the International Council of Shopping Centers' prestigious "Hot Retailer Award" and ranking No. 170 in the 2012 Inc. 500 | 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the United States, as well as the sixth fastest-growing franchise and ninth fastest-growing retailer in the nation.



Growing the brand to more than 70 shops in operation and 110-plus in the development pipeline, the executive team boasts more than 50 years of franchise experience building and growing some of the world's fastest-growing franchise concepts, category leaders and some of the world's most well-known brands, including Cold Stone Creamery, Moe's Southwest Grill, Nike and OfficeZilla.com. The lifestyle franchise is an Environmentally Responsible Retailer™ encouraging the nation to Free Their Toes®. For more information on the franchise opportunity, visit http://franchise.flipflopshops.com/.



The Flip Flop Shops logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=12486


CONTACT: Media Contact: Jayne Levy, Fishman PR & Marketing
847-945-1300 or [email protected]



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