first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Imbalances of effort versus reward are among job factors that can lead to coronaryheart diseasePoor work design and organisation can contribute to heart disease, accordingto research sponsored by the Health and Safety Executive. A stressful environment where there are high job demands, low job controland imbalance in effort versus reward can all lead to coronary heart disease,said the study Whitehall II. It looked at the health of more than 10,000 British civil servants and foundthat coronary heart disease in the workplace could not be totally explainedaway by conventional risk factors such as smoking, being overweight or highblood pressure. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that when workloads changed,higher job demands, less direct control and reduced support all led to adeterioration in mental health. While previous reports have linked working conditions with self-reportedheart disease, the Whitehall II study has given a clearer picture becausereports were verified against medical records, said the HSE. Even moderate alcohol consumption was related to a risk of sickness absencebecause of injury, as well as “binge” drinking and alcoholdependency. But the work factors measured, with the exception of an effort-rewardimbalance, were not generally associated with Type 2 diabetes, said the HSE. Prof Sir Michael Marmot, director of the study, said: “Stress at workis not simply a matter of having too much to do, but also results from toolittle control over the work and from insufficient reward for the effortexpended. “The way to address the problem of stress at work is to look hard atthe organisation of the workplace.” Elizabeth Gyngell, senior policy manager on stress at the HSE, added:”Employers need to realise just how serious the effects of work-relatedstress can be, and take action to prevent it.” The results of the study were applicable to a much wider group of workersthan just civil servants, the HSE said. Previous Article Next Article Poor organisation at work contributes to heart diseaseOn 1 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more