A new survey from the Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) reveals that 25% of all working professionals in Sweden experience direct health issues as a result of their jobs. Of these, a third report having taken time off due to these issues.
In 2022, 1.3 million Swedes stated that they experienced health problems due to their work. The most common work-related health issues were fatigue, body pain, neck, shoulder, and arm pain, sleep disturbances, headaches, as well as worry or anxiety.
Individuals between the ages of 50 and 64 experienced more issues with their necks, shoulders, and arms compared to younger individuals. However, those aged 16-29 reported higher levels of anxiety and worry than older age groups. Symptoms of depression or burnout syndrome were slightly more common among those in the 30-49 age group.
Furthermore, one in three felt supported by their manager when it came to work-related health issues.
– Work-related issues are warning signs that employers need to address in time, before they lead to extended sick leaves or staff resignations, says Ann Ponton Klevestedt, head of statistics and analysis at the Swedish Work Environment Authority, in a press release.
Workload and demanding customers
Most health issues caused by work are not due to accidents but primarily due to excessive workloads, strenuous working positions, and demanding customers, patients, relatives, or the like.
28% of women report health issues that can be linked to their work, while the figure stands at 18% for men.
Professionally, a high percentage of primary school teachers, preschool teachers, nursing assistants, and nurses state that they experience health issues due to their work. Roofers, floor layers, and HVAC technicians also report high levels of work-related health problems.
The survey is conducted by the Swedish Work Environment Authority every other year and is based on interviews with 13,000 working professionals.