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Poor Working Conditions Cause Disorders, CDC Says

October 03, 1986|Associated Press

ATLANTA — Stress, boredom and frustration at work are causing substantial health problems for Americans, the national Centers for Disease Control said Thursday.

Numerous job-related insurance claims filed around the country are citing mental stress, and "there is increasing evidence that an unsatisfactory work environment may contribute to psychological disorders," the CDC said in its weekly report, prepared by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

For example, a California study found that claims for "work-related neuroses" more than doubled in the first three years of this decade; over the same period, claims for other disabling work injuries fell by 10%.

A study released last year by the National Council on Compensation Insurance found that claims for the gradual onset of "mental stress" accounted for more than one in every 10 occupational-disease-and-injury claims, and the average cost of those claims was higher than for other work-related health problems.

Conditions such as work overload, lack of control over one's job, non-supportive bosses and colleagues, limited job opportunity, undefined tasks, rotating work shifts and operating at a machine-set pace all can contribute to a worker's job dissatisfaction, the CDC report said.

In turn, those factors can cause psychological disorders including neuroses and depression, anxiety, irritability, drug abuse, sleep difficulties and physical complaints such as headache and stomach ache.

"These problems impose substantial health and financial costs in the United States," the Atlanta-based CDC said.

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