Workers Who Must Hide Feelings Suffer Tension Pains

  • By Lee Kum-sook

    December 26, 2018 08:31

    Workers who have to conceal their emotions at work such as staffers at call centers or department stores complain of musculoskeletal symptoms on the back, shoulders, and neck, according to a recent study.

    A research team led by Ryu Ji-young at Inje University Paik Hospital in Busan analyzed the working conditions data from a survey of 12,186 workers in 2011. The researchers selected those who worked in office, sales or services, and "excluded workers whose working conditions involved routinely painful postures, repetitive movements of the hands and arms, or exposure to noise or vibrations." 

    Some 30.6 percent or 3,730 of those surveyed said they always or almost always have to hide their emotions during worktime. Among them, 50.4 percent of men and 56.5 percent of women complained of musculoskeletal symptoms.

    In the control group who said they do not need to hide their emotions, only 37.9 percent of men and 45.2 percent of women complained of such symptoms.

    "Concealing emotions at work can induce stress, and stress increases muscular tensions and subsequently pain," Ryu said. "Stress makes you react sensitively to stimuli, and makes you feel more pain even if the intensity of the stimuli is the same."

    The study was published in the September edition of journal Industrial Health. 

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