Stress costs Swiss economy billions every year

Stress at work affects one in four workers, costing the country billions every year Keystone

A new study shows that work-related stress costs the Swiss economy SFr4.2billion ($2.4 billion) annually. That is 1.2 per cent of gross national product.

This content was published on September 12, 2000 - 18:24

The survey, published by the economics ministry on Tuesday, said the damage caused by stress could go up to at least SFr8 billion if accidents and work-related illness are included.

The results are based on interviews of 150 employees in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

Alain Kiener, head of the occupational health department at the economics ministry, said the study underlined the negative impact of stress on the economy.

In a separate study, 25 per cent of the people questioned said they were very often subjected to stress. More than 12 per cent among them said they needed medical help to cope.

An overwhelming majority said they felt under pressure at work, but that it did not affect their health. Kiener warned that many of them underestimate the effects of stress.

Women, young people and those living in the French-speaking part of the country are thought to be more often victims of stress than others.

However, the survey does not elaborate on which jobs are considered particularly stressful.

The economics ministry pointed out that work-related health problems had become more frequent over the past 15 years. It said the increase was due to a faster pace in the work environment, restructuring and growing pressure to retrain.

The survey also found that stress levels in Switzerland are about the same as the European average.

swissinfo with agencies

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