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Stress plagues one in two Swiss workers

Almost half of the working population suffers from stress Keystone

More than half of all employees in Switzerland are said to suffer stress at work.

This content was published on November 23, 2004 - 14:02

Women and men with higher education are particularly affected, according to the Federal Statistics Office.

The results of the 2002 health survey show that 47 per cent of men and 41 per cent of women suffer psychological stress at work.

The study, which was published on Tuesday, shows that the higher the level of education, the more the pressure is felt.

One third of workers who had completed compulsory schooling complained about stress at work, compared with 56 per cent of employees with a university education.

The report’s compilers said demanding employers and time pressure were prime causes of stress, along with long periods of concentration and dependence on colleagues.

Physical effects

According to the survey, stress at work often leads to physical problems such as headaches, backaches, insomnia or psychological problems.

Thirty-eight per cent of women and 21 per cent of men under great pressure at work also suffer from physical problems. But only 20 per cent of women and 14 per cent of men experiencing moderate stress also complain of major physical symptoms.

Uncertainty and fear of losing one’s job constitute a health risk leading, in one third of cases, to serious physical illness.

Eleven per cent of participants in the survey were afraid of losing their job. The level of concern depended on education, but there was little difference between male and female employees, according to the survey.

The less well educated were more apprehensive about their job situation than those with a higher education. This fear was usually related to not finding a similar position, and mainly affected the working population aged between 55 and 65.

Roughly one third of employees anxious about losing their jobs were in a very bad physical state, the report said.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

According to the Federal Statistics Office, 44% of the working population suffers stress at the workplace - 41% of women, 47% of men.
Stress affects 51% of people with a higher education and 37% of those who have completed compulsory schooling.

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