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Work stress ‘undermines health’

Published: July 25, 2016

The increased risk of stress at work has been linked directly to ill-health in a new US study.

Research by the National Bureau for Economic Research looked at health records for Danish workers employed in the manufacturing sector and found that increased stress in the workplace could be linked to negative health conditions.

The report, entitled ‘No pain, no gain: the effects of exports on effort, injury and illness’ found as a company’s performance increased so did the number of health problems reported by staff, with more incidents of depression, on-the-job injuries and heart disease.

Chong Xiang, economics professor and co-author on the paper, explained: “The medical literature typically finds that people who work longer hours have worse health outcomes – but we try to distinguish between causality and correlation.”

“Our findings capture the pain from globalization, and we quantify its magnitude relative to the gains from globalization documented by previous research.”

It was also discovered that the improvement in export levels led to higher rates of injury, for both men and women, but the biggest rise was seen in female employees.

The study concluded that a ten per cent improvement in exports could increase the risk of female job injury by 6.35 per cent and the risk of depression by 2.51 per cent.

Mitrefinch offers time and attendance software that can track absence rates and help employers get to the bottom of any productivity of sick leave problems.

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