Frontiers in Occupational Health and Safety

Volume: 2

Stress and Compromised Mental Health as The New Age Occupational Hazard

Author(s): Farhana Zahir *

Pp: 158-173 (16)

DOI: 10.2174/9789811406911119020009

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Stress is a 21st century biproduct of globalization coupled with industrialization. WHO recognizes stress as one of the biggest challenges of our time. Two theoretical models are accepted to study stressful psychosocial work environment Job-Demand-Control (JDC) and Effort Reward Imbalance (ERI) or Organizational Justice (OJ) model. The work stressors like accumulating anxiety, insomnia or excessive sleepiness and depression coupled with lack of job satisfaction, diminished social life due to work pressure might lead to burn out occasionally leading to suicidal tendencies among workers. Shift work and migration are other major contributors to stress. A growing body of research underlines the significance of sleep for regeneration as good quality of sleep improves attention, focus and ameliorates stress. Sleep-wake cycle is regulated through neurons in hypothalamus as clock genes and Melatonin synchronize circadian rhythm which in turn influences emotion, behavior and cognition. Stress is a precursor of many disorders. Stress negatively stimulates Hypothalamic-Pituitary-adrenal axis and Autonomic Nervous Systemwhile circadian rhythm collapses during ageing. Allostatic adjustments are undertaken to maintain Homeostasis to prevent disease. The dysregulation of Allostatsis end in tertiary outcomes like cancer, depression, stroke, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease. Organizations are encouraged now-a-days by researchers to educate workers regarding sleep as a component of workers’ health. Proper sleep is like basic practice of sanitation and hygiene which if properly undertaken helps avert a number of health related issues.

Keywords: Stress, anxiety, depression, behaviour, work stressor’s, economic health, sleep, sleep-wake cycle, circadian rhythm, regeneration, Homeostasis, Allostatsis, Alzheimer’s disease, migration, burn out, shift work, melatonin, Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN).

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