DGB study: Unemployment makes you sick

DGB: Connection between unemployment and illness: The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) found in a study that one in five to sixth unemployed in Germany has “health restrictions”.

The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) found in a study that one in five to sixth unemployed in Germany has “health restrictions”. The labor market expert of the DGB and author of the study, Wilhelm Adamy, spoke to the newspaper "Rheinpfalz am Sonntag" of around half a million unemployed people who were affected. Specifically, metabolic diseases are widespread among them. Compared to employed people, people without a job have twice as high a number of illnesses in relation to cancer and four times as many in mental illness. One in seven unemployed is now said to be prescribed psychotropic drugs.

In 2008, a study by the IGES Institute confirmed that unemployment was more likely to cause illness. In the case of prolonged unemployment, the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases. A study by the University of Leipzig indicated that many people become apathetic as a result of unemployment and often "only accept" their situation. It is important not to "wall yourself in at home", but to be active.

According to the employment agency, 1.7 million unemployed people reported sick in the first eleven months of last year alone. That is about 13 percent more than for employees. Around 1.7 million unemployed people were put on sick leave by a doctor last year. At 35 days, the average length of illness in 2007 was more than three times as high as for salaried employees and two and a half times as high as for blue-collar workers. According to the DGB study, however, the number of unreported cases is many times higher because many people affected do not go to the doctor.

These numbers can be attributed, among other things, to poor financial opportunities. This could possibly play a role in the choice of diet. A lack of perspective could also play a major role. Adamy called for the future cooperation between labor and health authorities to be intensified in order to be able to initiate and implement individual and more effective measures.

It is to be hoped that as many factors as possible are included and addressed that go beyond the level of fire service policy and, in the sense of naturopathy, strengthen the self-responsibility and self-confidence of those affected. It would be desirable that concepts such as that of salutogenesis would be used to achieve a fundamental and long-lasting effect. (Thorsten Fischer, naturopath osteopathy, February 15, 2010)

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