Sometimes, more exercise is enough to stay healthy at work. When it comes to more serious illnesses, changes in the workplace can also bring improvement. When asked what makes people sick in the workplace, there are at least two different statistics.
The most common childhood diseases
At the top of the recognized occupational diseases are noise deafness, asbestos-related diseases as well as lung and throat cancer. This may make regular newspaper readers suspicious. Most sick leave and sick leave leave employees with very different complaints: musculoskeletal and back problems have increased epidemically.
Days of sick leave due to mental illness have recently risen sharply. In addition, there are more respiratory diseases such as chronic bronchitis. In addition, general injuries as well as diseases of the digestive system and cardiovascular diseases belong to the top group of sick leave.
Disease cause at work?
The reason for the difference between recognized occupational disease (only illnesses directly caused by the profession are considered occupational diseases) and sick leave is due to the different responsibilities. For the former, only the employers pay contributions to the employers' liability insurance association and thus cancel possible liability claims. These are mainly required in industrial accidents.
However, even a disease can be a case for the professional association. If the hairdresser's skin can not handle the handling of chemicals or the baker is allergic to flour dust, the cause is directly at work. Therefore, in these cases the professional associations would pay for the treatment and any retraining.
Common diseases are not occupational diseases
For all other so-called common diseases, the health insurance companies are responsible. "If someone has spinal problems because of overweight and malnutrition and possibly stress during leisure time, the cause is not at work, " explains Professor Stephan Letzel, occupational physician from the University of Mainz, but primarily in personal behavior or in inherited factors.
Nevertheless, occupational physicians do not close their eyes to changing pressures in the workplace. Even with the so-called widespread diseases, studies show that the causes can be very closely related to the operational situation. This is reinforced by the increasingly older workforce, says Letzel.
Mental stress due to stress
Since the widespread introduction of computers, the burdens shift from the physical to primarily mental requirements. For some workers, work becomes more uniform and annoying; for others, complexity increases enormously. The latter complain mainly about the high workload, the fast pace of work, the expected high accuracy as well as the constantly demanded attention.
Anyone who feels overwhelmed, gets into a permanent alarm. It creates inner tension, anxiety, nervousness, exhaustion. On the other hand, under-demand creates boredom as well as unpleasure and can therefore also be mentally distressing. Even if the back hurts, this is often due to psychosocial conflicts in the workplace. Contradictory work instructions, lack of recognition and support, excessive controls and the fear of losing work place tense body and psyche.
In order to feel well, however, employees need the recognition of colleagues and supervisors. Feedback on the work results, transparent decision-making processes and a good company information policy have a positive effect on the working atmosphere.
Sitting stresses the spine
Naturally, joint pain or back pain also contributes to the changed physical strain in the workplace. Occupational physicians recommend that at least a quarter of the daily working hours be spent in motion and that sitting should be limited to half. At VDU workplaces, however, an average of 80 to 85 percent of daily working hours are spent. Sitting stresses the spine and back muscles more than standing or walking.
If you put the pressure on the discs of the lumbar spine equal to 100 percent, this is about 140 percent when sitting straight, while sitting in a stooped position, it can even rise to 190 percent. Sitting not only puts strain on the spine, but it can also hinder breathing, blood circulation and digestion, and it makes it easier to tire. Other possible complications include headache, neck and shoulder pain and discomfort in the arms and hands.
What to do to prevent diseases?
Against lighter forms of this one-sided stress can be done with behavioral changes and motion compensation something. Anyone who gets dry eyes from reading or staring at the screen, for example, can use special eye drops to tackle this so-called office-eye syndrome.
Even ointments or Franzbranntwein from the pharmacy can help with muscle tension or stimulate the blood circulation in the tired limbs - these measures are, however, always as a supplement to a personal program for compensatory exercise.