Physical Health

The right prevention strategy is decisive if employees are to stay healthy throughout their working lives. The research done by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, BAuA) concentrates particularly on reliable risk assessment and concepts for precautionary action.

A construction worker lifting heavy scaffolding parts
© iStock | Drazen

Unfavourable physical loads in the workplace can put employees’ health in danger and cause diseases. Organisations have a duty towards their employees to identify such risks in each workplace and take suitable prevention measures.

Occupational diseases

Occupational diseases are conditions insured employees suffer as a consequence of the occupational activities they perform. German law regulates which conditions are recognised as occupational diseases. Where an occupational disease is suspected, the employee, their relatives, or the doctor in charge will report the case to the relevant social accident insurance institution or occupational accident insurance fund. Introductory information about occupational diseases and further links are brought together on BAuA’s website, including reference documents and scientific recommendations and opinions on recognised occupational diseases.

Physical loads and musculoskeletal disorders

Despite digitalisation and the evolution of the world of work, many jobs still place physical loads on employees today, for example in the form of heavy physical work, repetitive, unilateral movements, awkward postures, or vibrations. BAuA investigates the causes of musculoskeletal disorders and their correlations with the conditions under which employees work. It has collaborated with the German Social Accident Insurance (Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung, DGUV) to elaborate a concept for the uniform categorisation and classification of physical loads. Furthermore, the Key Indicator Methods (KIMs) that can be used to reliably evaluate physical loads when legally prescribed risk assessments are carried out.

Cardiovascular diseases

Diseases of the heart and the vascular system impose high sickness costs on society and are the most common causes of disease and death in Germany. Certain working conditions can play a role in their development. With its research, BAuA is, in particular, helping to identify work-related risks for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), so that organisations are able to take appropriate prevention measures.

Metabolic disorders

Metabolic disorders, in particular diabetes mellitus, thyroid malfunctions, and gout, are widespread and common causes for the development of cardiovascular diseases. The connections between particular working conditions and work structures and the development of metabolic disorders are attracting ever more attention from occupational physicians. There is therefore considerable interest in analysing the causes, prevalence, and prevention of metabolic disorders in the workplace.

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Reasearch projects

Project numberF 2564 StatusOngoing Project Psychophysiological investigations for promoting cognitive ­capacities and physical health with short bouts of activity during sedentary work

To the Project

Research ongoing