Background on stress, work and illness

Stress related disorders, repetitive strain injuries (RSI) and work related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) together rank as the world number one workplace health complaints. International research also shows that worldwide, far from improving, conditions in both traditional industries and new, high-tech workplaces are getting progressively worse, placing more and more workers at risk.

Although MSD, RSI and stress related disorders encompass many different types of problems, there is one common denominator: they are to a large extent related to the way work is organized (work rhythm, work load, stress, monotony, lack of control, awkward postures, repetitive movements etc.). Moreover, international research shows that new management techniques like ‘Total Quality Management’, various ‘Continuous Improvement Systems’ and ‘lean production’ have aggravated the problem and have even led to outbreaks of work-related disorders as they increase stressors and strains in job design (work overload, speed-up, lacking control of work pace, repetitive work, time pressures, uncertain responsibilities, excessive requirements, multitasking etc.) and work organisation/conditions (low pay, lone work, lack of job security, lack of control over work, flexible work time, continuous changes in work organisation, lack of participation in decision-making, harsh disciplinary procedures, inadequate staffing etc.).


Vida Viva

Education & exchange in Germany

What is Vida Viva about?

Who is involved in Vida Viva?

What have we done?

What can you do?

Do you want to read more?


Vida Viva in Brazil

Background on Brazil’s economy

…and the labour market

Background on stress, work and illness
…and gender
…in Brazil

Background on Brazil’s labour movement
… and industrial relations
… unions and health

Conclusion: unions, work and health

Vida Viva in Mozambique

Vida Viva in Germany


Expo - chemical worker

Choclate factory

Expo-agro workers

Leaflet December 2006

Leaflet January 2007

Leaflet February 2007

Introduction magazine
of Vida Viva

Brochure on work quality

Health & safety guide

Mapping guide English