Here are some few questions we keep asking as Teachers,
Health risks for teachers
Common diseases of teachers
Most common illness of teachers
Among different occupational groups, teaching is considered to be one of the healthiest professions. It is generally assumed that teachers lead healthy lifestyles.
Meanwhile, due to their specific working conditions, they stand among occupational groups exposed to a wide variety of health hazards associated with their profession, such as mental or physical health problems.
To date, several studies have been conducted evaluating the mental health status of teachers .
In this regard, it is widely believed that teachers have poorer mental health compared to other occupational groups. A lot is demanded from teachers as they are required to meet the diverse learning needs of their students. However, that claim is not as indisputable as often thought .
Results from a study carried out in France showed that teachers do not have poor mental health; instead, they observed a higher prevalence of physical health problems related to the ears, nose and the throat tracts, and to a lesser extent depending on gender, related to skin, eyes, legs, and the lower urinary tract.
Therefore, in addition to mental health problems, teachers are also exposed to a variety of physical health issues, such as musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory problems and contact dermatitis.
The 10 most frequently reported health complaints among the teachers were
- Lower back pain,
- Leg pain,
- Voice disorder,
- Neck pain,
- Shoulder pain,
- Varicose veins of lower limbs, and
- Sleep problems.
The 5 most severe complaints were tiredness, leg pain, lower back pain, voice disorder, and headache.
Among different high-risk groups, the teaching profession stands out in terms of voice problems . Voice disorders have negative impact on the quality of life, which means teachers who complain from voice problems, endure poorer health-related quality of life.
Numerous studies have been carried out with the aim to investigate the prevalence of voice problems in teachers.
However, there is still limited awareness among teachers regarding the potential risks associated with vocal health or the specialized health services .
In addition, female teachers reported a higher prevalence of voice problems than their male counterparts .
Furthermore, teachers are at a high risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), especially in the back, neck and shoulders .
Shoulder and back pain in teachers might be due to incorrect working posture, while grading homework at their pupils’ desks or prolonged periods of writing on the board . Chalkboards are still used in developing countries as traditional teaching aids.
Teachers using chalkboards are indeed at an increased risk of developing occupational respiratory illnesses and contact dermatitis .
Despite the principal role of teachers in shaping the future generation, less attention has been paid to the occupational health problems associated with the teaching profession.
Most studies conducted among teachers have merely focused on mental health problems or a single category of physical health issues, such as MSDs or voice problems.