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Stress at the workplace increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, the KNSB points out in a publication on the subject on the website of the trade union organization.

KNSB reminds that long hours of work (55 hours per week and more) lead to a 1.1 times higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and a 1.3 times higher risk of stroke compared to working fewer hours.

Research shows that

more than 5 years of shift work is associated with a 1.07 times higher risk of cardiovascular disease for each additional year of work.

Long-term night shifts are associated with a 1.1- to 1.2-fold increased risk of atrial fibrillation and coronary heart disease.

Recently, Eurostat announced alarming statistics, according to which in 2020 Bulgaria is the country in the EU with the highest share of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases - 61% of all deaths, adds the KNSB.

Stress at work may be among the reasons for their occurrence.

When we are under excessive pressure and feel that we will not manage within the deadline set by an employer or lack support from colleagues, friends, we can reach a situation where we are exposed to a high risk of illness.

The signs of stress are: a person feels upset, a feeling of fear, anxiety, panic, rapid heart rate, dry mouth, headache, sleep problems, etc. at work. 

Unfavorable psychosocial factors in the workplace together with an increased level of stress negatively affect the cardiovascular system.

Diseases related to the heart and blood vessels (coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease, etc.) can lead to stroke and be fatal.

Cardiovascular disease leads to high treatment costs and burdens the health care system, increases sick days, which in turn reduces the productivity of the workforce.

In addition to workplace stress, the basis of cardiovascular diseases is also an unfavorable lifestyle, such as smoking, use of alcohol, drugs, lack of physical activity, and others that accelerate atherosclerosis and metabolic dysregulation, adds the KNSB. 

The website of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work states that psychosocial risks and stress at work are among the biggest challenges for occupational safety and health.

They have a significant impact on the health of individuals, organizations and national economies.

Around half of European workers consider stress to be a common occurrence in their workplace, accounting for almost half of all lost working days.

Like many other mental health issues, stress is often misunderstood or stigmatized.

However, if viewed as an organizational issue rather than a personal shortcoming, psychosocial risks and stress can be managed like any other occupational safety and health risk, the information states.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work gives some examples of working conditions leading to psychosocial risks: excessive workload;

conflicting requirements and unclear role;

lack of participation in decision-making that affects the worker and lack of influence over the way the work is done;

poorly managed organizational changes, job insecurity;

ineffective communication, lack of support from management or colleagues;

psychological and social harassment, third-party violence.

Workers experience stress when work places demands on them that are higher than they can handle.

In addition to mental health problems, workers experiencing prolonged stress may go on to develop serious physical health problems, such as cardiovascular disease or musculoskeletal problems, the Agency warns.