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DAK: Working parents rarely get sick

DAK: Working parents rarely get sick

Rush hour generation with below-average sick leave

DAK-Gesundheit has published its report on sick leave in Hesse, paying special attention to the "rush hour generation" (25 to 39 year olds) in order to determine how existing multiple loads affect health in this phase of life. Although many men and women in the "rush hour of life" are under enormous pressure as working parents, they are "even more healthy compared to the younger and older age groups in Hesse", reports the DAK. On behalf of the health insurance company, the IGES institute in Berlin had evaluated the data of almost 228,000 employed insured persons.

Overall, the health report of the DAK in Hessen for 2013 shows an increase in sick leave of 0.2 points to 4.2 percent. Nationwide, the sick leave was an average of four percent. In Hesse, every employee missed an average of 15.4 days at work, 14.6 days in the federal government. It is striking that "workers in Hesse are increasingly on sick leave due to mental illness," reports the DAK. "There were three percent more days off due to depression or anxiety than a year earlier". The current state report also looked in particular at the health situation of the rush hour generation in more detail. More than 3,000 men and women in this age group were interviewed representative.

Low sick leave in the rush hour generation Although the health report has shown that the rush hour generation is less sick than the average. But "the comparatively low level of sickness of the 25- to 39-year-olds should not hide the fact that the first signs of chronic illness develop at this age," explained Herbert Trittel from DAK-Gesundheit. "If these particularly stressed younger workers are to remain productive up to the age of 67, employers must invest more sustainably in the health of their employees", the expert demands. In Hesse, "in the rush hour of life, four out of ten employees with back problems are already being treated," reports the DAK. The results would show "that many mothers and fathers make compromises between themselves in the balancing act between job and children" and "above all, adequate sleep and a healthy diet fall by the wayside", emphasized Trittel. In addition, "employed people with children do less sport than employed people without children," continues the expert.

Long-term impairments to be feared According to the DAK, the evaluation of the data has shown that among the 20 most common individual diagnoses in men of the "rush hour generation", long-term impairments can also be found in addition to the acute complaints. According to the DAK, “just under eight percent of men are being treated for high blood pressure, which is often associated with stress and a lack of exercise.” According to the DAK, complaints such as back pain and high blood pressure are noteworthy because they often recur and the long-term health status It can also be critical that around 59 percent of working parents in Hessen state that they do not have enough time for themselves. This also leads to increased psychological stress. However, workers with children are exposed to about the same chronic stress as childless workers, reports the DAK. "Even mothers who work full-time have no higher stress levels than mothers who work part-time or who are not employed," the health insurance company said. According to the DAK, the rush hour of life is a stress test for relationships. 39 percent of respondents said they neglected their partnership.

Better reconciliation of work and family wanted In the course of its survey, the DAK also found that family-friendly offers from the state and companies are willingly accepted by the "rush hour generation". For example, the offer of part-time employment is often used. "80 percent of working parents consider the shorter working hours to be a relief in order to reconcile family and work," reports the DAK and adds: "Almost exactly as many of those surveyed know relevant offers from their company." However, many parents would Company kindergartens and emergency childcare are missing, the DAK continues. Only 9.1 percent (company kindergartens) or 8.7 percent (emergency childcare) of the respondents reported such offers. Many men would also like more support when taking parental leave and employment models such as home office or teleworking in order to better combine family and work, reports the DAK. (fp)

Image: Helene Souza / pixelio.de

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