Background: Mental stress is of great importance in our working world as it can have an impact on strain and thus also on health. Therefore, it is taken into account in the risk assessment. A prerequisite for the identification of hazards and the development of effective measures is that the concrete mental stress factors of the work are known or their health significance has been determined. A targeted change of working conditions that have proven to be significant for health and thus constitute a hazard should positively influence health target variables such as health complaints.
Material and methods: Based on the data of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) working time surveys 2015 and 2019, the present study examined the relationship between health complaints and the experience of information overload on a longitudinal basis. The analyses were carried out in the form of binomial logistic regression models adjusted for age and occupational position.
Results: Most of the complaint types tested in this study showed an increase in complaint prevalence with increasing frequency of information overload over time, or a decrease in complaint prevalence with decreasing frequency of information overload.
Discussion: All the types of complaints considered show that the experience of information overload has consequences for health, thus it proves to be a serious risk factor in working life and should be taken into account when identifying hazards in the context of occupational safety and health. In order to reduce the level of stress caused by high amounts of information or to design work in a healthy way, measures are needed that address the causes of information overload and its conditions at the workplace.
This article is published in the Journal "Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie" (2022).
Please download the article "Information overload at the workplace - Health complaints in a longitudinal analysis of the BAuA working time survey" (in German only).
N. Kersten, G. Junghanns:
Informationsüberflutung am Arbeitsplatz - Gesundheitliche Beschwerden im Längsschnitt der BAuA-Arbeitszeitbefragung.
in: Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, Volume 72, Issue 5 2022. pages 206-218, Project number: F 2511, DOI: 10.1007/s40664-022-00469-7
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