New video lays out the ‘business case’ for healthy work

Los Angeles — A recently released video from the Healthy Work Campaign explains to business leaders how work stress harms their organization and employees – and what can be done about it.

Original article published by Safety+Health
healthy work

Photo: Healthy Work Campaign

The Business Case for Healthy Work focuses on issues such as chronic stress caused by greater work demands, time pressures, unreasonable workloads and low job control. That stress can lead to higher blood pressure and greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

The campaign is a public health project sponsored by the Center for Social Epidemiology, a nonprofit foundation.

“Overwork, especially working more than 55 hours per week, is also associated with burnout and depression,” Peter Schnall, CSE director and a professor emeritus of medicine at the University of California, Irvine, says in the video.

The video notes that businesses can lose billions of dollars because of problems such as employee disengagement and burnout, sickness and lost productivity, and increased health care costs. CSE provides three overarching actions employers can take to help mitigate these issues:

  • Ramp up employee participation in decision-making and problem-solving
  • Increase support and feedback from management
  • Improve communication throughout the organization

“Everyone should know that work conditions can lead to ill health,” Schnall says. “Improving working conditions and creating healthier work conditions can lead to improved mental function and increased satisfaction among workers, and it will contribute to workers who are more productive.”

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Study explores which generation of workers is most likely to consider suicide

Dallas — Millennial workers are more likely to contemplate suicide than any other age group – including up to five times more so than baby boomers – results of a recent analysis indicate.

Researchers at Catapult Health, a national preventive health care provider, looked at more than 157,000 patient records, including data from checkups conducted by the company at workplaces across 44 states.

They found that, of the patients younger than 30, 2.3 per 1,000 reported not only considering suicide, but also having a plan to carry it out. For workers 60 and older, that rate was 0.4 per 1,000 and, across all age groups, the average was 0.86.

“The numbers may seem small,” Catapult CEO David Michel said in a May 1 press release, “but if your company has 5,000 employees, that means that at any given moment four of them are probably seriously considering suicide, and the number is higher if you employ more younger workers.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among millennials and the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

In addition, workers younger than 30 are significantly more likely to experience depression than older employees, Catapult states.

“It is imperative that employers help their employees recognize depression and provide the resources to overcome it,” Michel said in the release.