What is burnout?

PPE - May 28, 2015 - 0 comments

Burnout is a serious problem that is brought on by the negative effects of chronic, work-related stress. Actual statistics are difficult to come by, but studies from the Nordic countries recently indicated that there, the prevalence of severe burnout is between 2-7 %. If these numbers are extrapolated Europe-wide, the problem and its effects on individuals, businesses and the European economy is sobering. This is why the Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress campaign aims to promote prevention and reduce the psy

Source: When prolonged work stress becomes burnout — Healthy Workplaces, Manage Stress


What is burnout? Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress (Helpguide.org). It is an extremely serious and debilitating condition that can lead to depression. In work, prolonged work-related stress can cause burnout.

Follow the link above to access EU-OSHA’s excellent resources on psychosocial risk and work-related stress. Find out:

  • What are stress and psychosocial risks?
  • Why are they important?
  • Who has to be involved?
  • How can they be managed?
  • The business case
  • Facts and figures

As EU-OSHA points out, “Work-related stress and psychosocial risks can be successfully assessed and managed, just as any other occupational safety and health issue can.” Visit Healthy Workplaces to find resources available in your language. There are also many useful tools developed by EU partners and international organisations.

Small businesses (SMEs) will find the tools particularly helpful. The tools guide you through assessment of psychosocial risks and how to implement actions to eliminate or reduce these risks.

There is also an excellent page at at Helpguide.org on the subject of burnout: Preventing Burnout – Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Coping Strategies

burnout and work-related stress

Young lady suffering with work-related stress. Image EU-OSHA.


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