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Psychobiological Pathways from Work Stress to Reduced Health: Naturalistic and Experimental Studies on the ERI Model

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Work Stress and Health in a Globalized Economy

Abstract

Evidence shows links between stress at work and negative health outcomes. It is essential to prove that underlying psychobiological pathways substantiate the statistical associations reported in epidemiological studies. This chapter demonstrates how chronic work stress in terms of the Effort-Reward-Imbalance (ERI) model ‘gets under the skin’ (in the long run). It reviews the main findings from naturalistic and (quasi-) experimental studies, demonstrating effects of stressful work conditions on the autonomic nervous system, on the endocrine stress system (HPA and SAM axis), on the immune and blood coagulation system, and on cardiovascular responses. Innovative insights from this basic science research enrich the body of evidence on ‘hard’ endpoints, such as the clinically manifest diseases discussed in previous chapters. Thus, this chapter illustrates impressive advances of scientific knowledge resulting from trans-disciplinary research.

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Bellingrath, S., Kudielka, B.M. (2016). Psychobiological Pathways from Work Stress to Reduced Health: Naturalistic and Experimental Studies on the ERI Model. In: Siegrist, J., Wahrendorf, M. (eds) Work Stress and Health in a Globalized Economy. Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32937-6_7

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