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Open Access Association of Working Conditions with Self-Reported Work-Related Symptoms: Results from the Swiss Dataset of the European Working Conditions Survey

By Marc Arial, Pascal Wild, David Vernez and Brigitta Danuser


Abstract: Working conditions are important determinants of health. The aims of this article are to 1) identify working conditions and work characteristics that are associated with workers ’ perceptions that their work is harmful to their health and 2) identify with what symptoms these working conditions are associated. We used the Swiss dataset from the 2005 edition of the European Working Conditions Survey. The dependent variable was based on the question “Does your work affect your health?”. Logistic regression was used to identify a set of vari-ables collectively associated with self-reported work-related adverse health effects. A total of 330 (32%) participants reported having their health affected by work. The most frequent symptoms included backache (17.1%), muscular pains (13.1%), stress (18.3%) and overall fatigue (11.7%). Scores for self-reported exposure to physicochemical risks, postural and physical risks, high work demand, and low social support were all significantly as-sociated with workers ’ perceptions that their work is harmful to their health, regardless of gender or age. A high level of education was associated with stress symptoms, and reports that health was affected by work was associated with low job satisfaction. Many workers believe that their work affects their health. Health specialists should pay attention to the potential associa-tion between work and their patients ’ health complaints. This is particularly relevant when patients mention symptoms such as muscular pains, backache, overall fatigue, and stress. Specific attention should be given to complaints of stress in highly educated workers

Topics: Working conditions, work related symptoms, occupational health, stress, statistic analysis
Year: 2016
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