Intensification and isolation: Psychosocial work environment changes in Spain 2005-10

M. Utzet, A. Navarro, C. Llorens, S. Moncada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


© The Author 2015. Background: Work organization in Spain has traditionally been based on a high proportion of passive work. Changes in the labour market in Europe and the economic crisis that began in 2008 may have had an impact on the pace of work in Spain. Aims: To estimate the prevalence of exposure to high-strain work and passive work in 2010 compared with 2005 and to analyse the distribution by gender, age and occupation of workers exposed to high strain and iso-strain in 2010 compared with 2005. Methods: Two representative samples of the Spanish working population were compared. Unweighted and weighted prevalences in 2010 were calculated and compared with those in 2005. Results: In the 2010 sample of 5110 workers, 29% (95% CI 27.8; 30.7) were exposed to high strain (of whom 83% had low social support). There was an increase of 6% (95% CI 3.8; 7.1) in high strain, and of 7% (95% CI 5.2; 8.3) to iso-strain, compared with 2005 (n = 7612). In 2010, as in 2005, the proportion of manual workers exposed to strain and iso-strain was more than double the corresponding proportion in non-manual workers. Conclusions: There has been an intensification of work, reduction in social support and a notable increase in exposure to high strain and iso-strain. The class inequalities reflect the segmentation of the Spanish labour market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-412
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Job strain
  • Psychosocial factors
  • Social inequity
  • Social support


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