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News Article

Preventing Stress at Work Could Reduce Depressive Disorders

By Miriam Bello | Fri, 07/08/2022 - 15:22

A study published in Molecular Psychiatry found that reducing work stress could prevent 18 percent of depressive disorders in workers. Other disorders could be prevented through economic aid, social support and access to education.

The study observed that job strain and depression was present in 18 percent of workers which is a core modifiable target among working adults. “This result aligns with the substantial and widespread impact of job strain on other physical health outcomes, including metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, musculoskeletal pain and even mortality,” according to the report published in Nature.

The adoption of strategies aimed at improving mental health can positively influence the health sector, childcare, education, work and living spaces, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). “Those strategies, like many others, can also prevent the onset of mental disorders among people in high-risk situations,” said the WHO.

Work stress is a pressing problem for Mexico, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused it to report the highest level of work stress in the world, according to the study "Work Stress in Mexico" by the MX Internet Association and OCCMundial. In Mexico, 60 percent of workers suffer from stress as a result of long work hours and a complex environment, reads the study.

While NOM-035 aims to address stress in the workplace, the latest reports indicate that just 32 percent of companies in Mexico fully complied with the NOM. This NOM aims to establish the elements to identify, analyze and prevent psychosocial risk factors, as well as to promote a favorable organizational environment in the workplace.

“We are still a long way from committing ourselves as organizations to identifying the emotions of our associates and, based on this, developing strategies that allow people to have a healthy working future and thus be productive for both parties,” said Francisco Martínez, CEO, Adecco.

Martinez added that this post-pandemic period could be best used by companies to meet NOM-035 to ensure that those who work in companies are in excellent physical and emotional condition. “It is important that as CEOs we empower our human resources teams, so that they become not only specialists in selection or management of teams but as emotional consultants to our own people, so that, together, we face the vicissitudes and challenges that the professional future holds for us,” he said.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst