Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Worker Bullying Linked to More Sick Days

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Worker Bullying Linked to More Sick Days

Article excerpt

Workers are more likely to take sick leave if they are being bullied on the job, threatened with workplace reorganization, or doing work that requires heavy lifting or repetitive motion, according to a study of Swedish postal workers.

The investigators found that men and women tended to have different factors that increased their likelihood of calling in sick. Overall, women were more likely to call in sick than men.

For women, "the strongest association was for problems related to working in a forward, bent position. Women who work in this capacity more than double their risk of being in the group with the highest [occurrence] of sickness compared with women who did not report these problems," wrote Margaretha Voss of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and colleagues.

Likewise, 16 percent of the women surveyed reported bullying on the job, which doubled their likelihood of calling in sick.

Men on the other hand, were more likely to have sick days if they were experiencing anxiety associated with workplace reorganization. …

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