Teachers have a healthier lifestyle than the general population, however the stress level involved with the job is greater than many other professions and leads to psychological problems, according to a new study.
Researchers at TU Dresden reviewed health data from for the 800,000 working teachers in Germany during the 2012-2013 school year and found that "burnout" is the greatest threat to their health.
"The profession's resources must be more integrated into job design and health promotion, as the question of how teachers are to remain healthy despite their high levels of work-related stress must be addressed," Klaus Scheuch, the study's lead author, wrote.
The study found that teachers are more physically active than the general population, as well as being 10 percent less likely to be obese and 16 percent less likely to smoke. They did, however, have more complaints of sleep issues, forgetfulness, general pain and irritability. The study found that mental and psychosomatic diseases are more common in teachers than in non-teachers, as well as exhaustion, fatigue, headache, and tension.
While the study notes that reliable data on "burnout" is lacking because there is no standard definition for it, it is said roughly 3 to 5 percent of teachers suffer from it. That average age of retirement for teachers in Germany is 58, with 32 to 50 percent of those cases including some mental or psychosomatic explanation.
The study is published in Deutsches Aerzteblatt International.