Parents study: No more stress than childless people

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Working mothers and fathers are no more stressed than childless workers

Children or career? Many young people postpone starting a family because they fear that the compatibility of family and work could cause a lot of stress. But as the current health report 2014 of the DAK Baden-Württemberg shows, working parents are apparently no more stressed than childless workers.

Many young people fear that work and family life are incompatible Do men and women who reconcile children and careers feel more stressed than childless workers? Apparently not, according to the results of the 2014 DAK Baden-Württemberg health report. The box office had interviewed 3,000 Baden-Württemberg men and women in the "rush hour of life" between the ages of 25 and 39 - a period in which decisions about careers, marriages and child wars are normally made. The study concluded that that employed persons with and without children have the same stress levels due to chronic stress by both reaching a value of around 20 on a stress scale from 0 to 48 (maximum stress).

Stress levels for full-time and part-time work equally high The DAK would make no difference as much work, because even mothers working full-time would have no higher stress levels than women who do not work or work part-time. However, there is a clear difference between parents and non-parents in terms of free time: Here, two thirds of working parents in Baden-Württemberg stated that they did not have enough time for themselves, for almost half (47.4%) also the concern of neglecting the partnership. "Our results show that many mothers and fathers make compromises between themselves in the balancing act between job and children," said the State Director of DAK Health in Baden-Württemberg, Markus Saur. “Above all, they fall short of adequate sleep and a healthy diet. People with children do less sport than people without children. "

Results could take young people's worries The realization that working parents are not generally more stressed than men and women of the same age without a child, according to Karlheinz Sonntag, an occupational psychologist from Heidelberg, could make young people worry about the incompatibility of family and work. Because a family can be very helpful to switch off from everyday work and recharge your batteries, the expert told the news agency "dpa".

"Cultural change" required in companies In order to be able to really reconcile work and family, there are still some obstacles in the study that make it easier for parents who are working to relieve the burden. On the one hand, the offers of company kindergartens and emergency childcare are still not sufficient, and few employers would also encourage men to take parental leave. Accordingly, it is more the women who regard parenthood as a professional disadvantage than the men: According to the study, 54.4 percent of the female respondents answered "Yes" with "Yes" in my professional advancement without children, whereas only 12.7 percent of men could agree to this, so Saurs believes that there should be a “cultural change” in the company that gives mothers and fathers the greatest possible flexibility. “In addition, the father active in childcare should become an accepted role model in professional life Flexibility not only in terms of working hours helps to reduce stress, particularly in the rush hour of life, ”the country chief continued.

"Rush hour generation" is far less lacking due to illness in the job than older and younger people

In addition to the topic "Children and Careers", the current health report 2014 focused primarily on the health situation of the so-called "rush hour generation", with DAK Gesundheit coming to a positive conclusion: Because although for many men and women in this phase of life the personal pressure increases due to multiple stress, this does not affect the sick leave. On the contrary: Compared to younger and older people in the state, 25 to 39 year olds from Baden-Württemberg are significantly less absent from work due to illness.

Baden-Württemberg achieves top value for sick leave The report also comes to the conclusion that Baden-Württemberg is obviously very robust when compared to general sick leave: Here, the third largest federal state achieved a top value of 3.3% (previous year : 3,2), which means that 33 out of 1,000 employees were absent on one day due to illness - an average of 40 across Germany. The greatest number of failures due to illness was in the healthcare sector (3.8%), the least in the areas of education, culture and the media (2.5%), the most common reasons for the failure were diseases of the musculoskeletal system such as for example back pain (20.5%) and diseases of the respiratory system.

Employers should invest more sustainably in the health of their employees
But even if the health of 25- to 39-year-olds from Baden-Württemberg seems to be doing quite well according to the current study, according to Markus Saur the companies should not rest on the positive results: "Should these particularly stressed younger workers be able to To remain productive at the age of 67, employers must invest more sustainably in the health of their employees, ”says the expert, because“ The low level of sickness of the 25 to 39 year olds must not hide the fact that the first signs of chronic diseases develop at this age ." (No)

Image: Rolf van Melis /

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