Ramazzini; Blog on work and health by Annet Lenderink


Sickness presenteeism related to regular overtime

The article examines the prevalence of sickness presenteeism in comparison with sickness absenteeism, using survey data covering 725 Finnish union members in 2008. Controlling for worker characteristics, the researchers find that sickness presenteeism is much more sensitive to working-time arrangements than sickness absenteeism is. Permanent full-time work, mismatch between desired and actual working hours, shift or period work and overlong working weeks increase sickness presenteeism. Regular overtime decreases sickness absenteeism, but increases sickness presenteeism

What makes you work while you are sick? Evidence from a survey of workers Bockerman, P., Laukkanen, E. The European Journal of Public Health 2010 20(1):43-46; doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckp076 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Health,

Paid employment no risk for pregnancy complications

Within the Dutch Generation R study the relation between employment status, type of unemployment and number of weekly working hours with a wide range of pregnancy outcomes was explored. Information on employment characteristics and pregnancy outcomes was available for 6111 pregnant women. No indications were found that paid employment during pregnancy benefits or endangers the health of mother and child. Within the subgroups of unemployed and employed women we observed, however, that women receiving disability benefit, students and women with long working hours during pregnancy were at risk for some adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Employment status and the risk of pregnancy complications. The Generation R Study
Pauline Jansen*, Henning Tiemeier, Frank Verhulst, Alex Burdorf, Vincent Jaddoe, Albert Hofman, Henriette Moll, Bero Verburg, Eric Steegers, Johan Mackenbach, Hein Raat
Occup Environ Med doi:10.1136/oem.2009.046300 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Health, Physical load, Pregnancy, , ,

How to survive working in the cold?

In the Netherlands it is winter, like in the rest of Europe too. For this weekend there is a forecast of snow, low temperatures and a strong wind, which will make it feel much colder. If you need to work outside or go there to skate, you should prepare yourself  to prevent health problems.

NIOSH has a comprehensive overview of coldstress with symptoms of hypothermia, frostbite, trench foot and chilblains, their first aid and recommendations for workers and employers. including a lot of interesting additional sources of information.

Stay warm, stay healthy!

Filed under: Health, Internet resources, Physical agents, ,

Positive illness perceptions associated with earlier return to work

A patient’s perception of their illness can influence their coping ability, compliance with treatment and functional recovery. This study compares perceptions of illness, fitness to return to work and time to return to work among employees with those of their occupational physicians (OPs). 84 employees and 9 OPs filled in several questionnaires including the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire. Employees had more negative perceptions (longer duration, more symptoms and concersn) about their illness than OPs. Positive perceptions (shorter lasting illness, more treatable, less symptoms and concern) were associated with an earlier return to work. Unhelpful negative beliefs about illness need to be addressed by OPs.

Perceptions of illness and their impact on sickness absence
Prosenjit Giri, Jon Poole, Peter Nightingale and Alastair Robertson
Occupational Medicine 2009 59(8):550-555; doi:10.1093/occmed/kqp123 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Health, Occupational medicine, RTW (Return to Work), Well-being,

Work is good for your health and well-being

Although this blog may seem mainly occupied with dangers and risks of work and working, I am convinced that work is essentially good for us in many ways. Working is better for our health than being without employment. One of the important studies into this subject came from Gordon Waddell and Kim Burton: IS WORK GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING? (2006). You can read the review online, but here is their main conclusion:

“There is a strong evidence base showing that work is generally good for physical and mental health and well-being. Worklessness is associated with poorer physical and mental health and well-being. Work can be therapeutic and can reverse the adverse health effects of unemployment. That is true for healthy people of working age, for many disabled people, for most people with common health problems and for social security beneficiaries.
The provisosare that account must be taken of the nature and quality of work and its social context; jobs should be safe and accommodating. Overall, the beneficial effects of work outweigh the risks of work, and are greater than the harmful effects of long-term unemployment or prolonged sickness absence. Work is generally good for health and well-being.”

Filed under: Health, Occupational medicine, Well-being, ,


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Annet Lenderink

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Diepenveen, Netherlands

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