Absenteeism: Increase in mental illness

Absenteeism: Increase in mental illness

AOK Absenteeism Report 2010: Increase in absenteeism at work due to mental illness. More and more people are taking sick leave because of mental suffering.

(07/09/2010) Due to mental illnesses such as depression or burn out, more and more employees have to be on sick leave. The number of mental illnesses in the workplace has increased continuously in recent years. This is based on a report by the AOK Scientific Institute (WIdO).

Increasing stress and pressure to perform at the workplace are likely to make people sick more and more often. According to a scientific study by the AOK, mental illnesses are responsible for days off at work in around 8.6 percent of cases. On average, those affected are absent for almost 23 days a year. As a result, the level of illness due to mental and mental illnesses has reached a record level. The data of the AOK Absenteeism Report 2010 are based on evaluations of the approximately 9.7 million AOK insured persons and thus give a fairly good average for all employees in Germany. There are differences depending on the workplace and industry. According to the report, garbage collectors were most often sick.

As a result, the level of illness due to psychological suffering increased from 4.6 percent (2008) to 4.9 percent (2009) compared to the previous year. On average, employees were on sick leave for an average of 17.3 days. These results are based on measured sick leave of employees of the 9.7 AOK members who are subject to social security contributions.

In the meantime, mental illnesses have become the 4th most common cause of sick leave. A total of 8.6 percent of mental illnesses were responsible for sickness reports by AOK members. In 2008 it was 8.3 percent. The psychologically related illnesses are responsible for the longest days at work. AOK's Helmut Schröder said: "Compared to other illnesses, however, they are often associated with long downtimes. In the case of respiratory illness, an employee is absent on average 6.5 days, while it is almost 23 days for a mental illness".

The further results of the investigation are also of interest. According to the AOK report, older workers are less sick than their younger colleagues. However, older workers are on sick leave longer. Women, on the other hand, are sick more often, but on average they are unable to work for a shorter period. Men increasingly suffer from musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain and injuries, while women tend to suffer from respiratory diseases and depression. Muscle and skeletal disorders were responsible for most workplace failures (23 percent). This was followed by diseases of the respiratory tract (14 percent), acute injuries, e.g. sports or work (12.3 percent) and mental illnesses such as depression or "burnout" (8.6 percent).

Overall, it can be observed that the number of mental illnesses is continuously increasing. The Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists recently pointed out that sick leave due to mental illness due to stress at work has almost doubled since the 1990s. The reasons are often poor working conditions, underpayment and lack of time. This leads to dissatisfaction, loss of self-esteem and frustration, which in turn lead to mental illnesses such as depression. (sb)

Also read:
Work stress: short breaks more effective
Burn out usually hits the committed
Depression exacerbate physical pain?
Bremer go to work tired

Image: tokamuwi /

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Video: 4 Mental Health in the Workplace (October 2020).