Experts warn about the influence of work on mental health problems and the increase in stress due to working conditions.
Between 11 and 17% of mental health problems in our country are attributable to working conditions. To this, we must add that 4 out of 10 people recognize not to adequately manage stress at work, which translates into a loss of between 50-60% of working hours.
Data that confirm how work affects health and, in addition, corroborate the warning issued by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA), about psychosocial risks as a cause of loss of more of half the working days. The work stress is today the second most common health problem in the countries of the European Union, behind the muscoesqueléticas ailments.
How does work affect mental health?
Work overload, rigid work schedules, interpersonal relationships (peers, bosses …), instability in employment (precariousness or temporality) or psychological harassment (undermining the worker’s self-esteem, limiting their functions or isolating them) are some of the the adverse conditions in the workplace that can cause physical and emotional problems (loss of self esteem, low mood, work stress, anxiety, depression …).
The Law on Prevention of Occupational Hazards of our country emphasizes that working conditions are any characteristic of the same that can significantly influence the generation of risks for the safety and health of the worker.
Promotion of mental health at work
The prevention of mental health at work is key, with tools such as a flexible organization, the reconciliation of work and family life, good communication, motivation or respect for limits, as indicated by the Mental Health Federation of Castilla and Leon. All this also in a pleasant, safe and clean work environment in which to talk about mental health with bosses without problems. As stressed by mental health experts, pleasant and healthy work environments improve productivity and reduce absenteeism or sick leave.
But the prevention of mental health should not be limited to the workplace since it is a responsibility of society to bet on occupational safety and health, and hence the importance of raising awareness about the risks of working in an environment negatively and demotivating.