As a result of their work, teachers suffer psychosomatic disorders such as exhaustion, fatigue, and headaches more frequently than other occupational groups. This has been shown in Germany by Klaus Scheuch et al. in a recent review article in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2015; 112(20): 347-56), in which they analyse the health of teachers and the frequency of their illnesses.
In the study, teachers had healthier cardiovascular systems than the general population: they were more physically active (approximately 75% of teachers versus 66% of the general population), less likely to be obese (approximately 13% of teachers versus 23% of the general population), and less likely to smoke (approximately 14% of teachers versus 30% of the general population). In contrast, psychosomatic complaints were more common among teachers: they were more likely to suffer sleep disorders, forgetfulness, pain, and irritability, for example. This is also reflected in morbidity figures: teachers more frequently obtain certification as being ill or unfit for work as a result of psychological health problems than the general population.
The authors emphasise that workplace health care professionals who care for teachers should include not only treating physicians but also psychologists, psychiatrists, and specialists in psychosomatic medicine.
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