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Occup Med (Lond). 2000 Sep;50(7):518-22.

An investigation of the relationship between psychological health and workload among managers.

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Department of Occupational Medicine, St Luke's Hospital, Little Horton Lane, Bradford BD5 0NA, UK.



Anecdotally, many workers complain of stress at work. However, the relationship between work and stress needs clarification to allow risk assessment and risk management of this hazard in the workplace.


To examine relationships between working hours, perceived work stressors, and psychological health in a group of managers.


Managers at two factories were invited to participate in an anonymous cross-sectional survey. All were asked to complete a work diary for a period of 1 week and a questionnaire comprising the 30-item General Health Questionnaire, an anxiety and depression scale, and questions identifying perceived workplace stressors.


Over 60% of managers were above the threshold of caseness on at least one measure of psychological health. No statistically significant relationship was demonstrated between actual hours of work and psychological health. A relationship was demonstrated between some perceived workplace stressors and actual hours worked, and between some perceived workplace stressors and psychological health.


A large proportion of managers in a typical production environment appeared at risk of developing psychological illness. Hours of work were not directly related to psychological health, but were significantly associated with individual perception of some work stressors which, in turn, were associated with measures of psychological health. Perceived workload appeared more important in determining psychological health than actual workload.

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