Recent Study Finds Women’s Risk of Work Injuries Increased with Depression, Fatigue, Anxiety

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Women who suffer from anxiety, depression, and fatigue are at a heightened risk for work injuries, according to a new study led by researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health's Center for Health, Work & Environment and published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Nearly 17,000 employees, ranging from executives to laborers, were part of the study. Over 300 claims from a range of industries were examined. The study found that these health factors significantly affected women’s risk of injury but not men’s risk. 

According to the study, as a general rule, men were more likely to sustain a work-related injury. However, with men, factors such as poor sleep and anxiety did not directly affect their risk of injury. On the other hand, women were more likely to report experiencing mental and behavioral health issues and these conditions increased their risk of getting hurt on the job. Almost 60% of women with a work injury reported experiencing a behavioral health condition before they were injured, compared to 33% of men.

The study notes that further research is needed to understand these differences. Overall, workers with a history of a work injury were more likely to be injured again, regardless of gender. “There are a number of social and cultural factors that may explain why women reported having more behavioral health concerns than men did. Men generally admit to fewer health concerns,” said Dr. Natalie Schwatka, the study’s lead author. “And women may face different stresses at work and at home. It’s something that is worth exploring in future research.”

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