Contractor McLaughlin & Harvey has been offering workers the chance to cuddle a teddy bear on site to reduce stress, as part of a new trial.
The project, introduced by one of the firm’s mental health first aiders, has promoted alternative ways of dealing with mental health and stress management.
One of the ways the firm is achieving this is by offering ‘cuddle therapy’ with a stuffed bear named Harvey, on an unidentified site.
McLaughlin & Harvey reported that many of the site’s staff asked for time with the bear, including security personnel.
It claimed that interacting with companion animals such as dogs and cats causes a measurable reduction in levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain and increase the likelihood of coronary heart disease.
The contractor said it hoped that cuddling Harvey would have a similar cortisol-reducing effect for its workers.
Meanwhile, to mitigate the risks of covid-19, Harvey has been provided with his own air freshener and sanitiser so that he can be cleaned between cuddles.