Helsinki (05.12.1997 - Juhani Artto) According to a new study, exhaustion at work in Finland is more common than believed and probably worse than in Sweden and the Netherlands.

Made by the Institute of Occupational Health, the study is based on interviews with 3,300 Finns aged 24-65 years.

The proportion of those feeling seriously exhausted varied from 2.6 per cent in the construction industry to more than ten per cent in jobs at restaurants, hotels, schools and research institutes. Work in agriculture and forestry also rated an above average share of serious or slight exhaustion.

The study defines work exhaustion as a disorder caused by long-lasting, serious stress. The symptoms are permanent fatigue, cynicism, weak vocational identity and physical and mental functional disorders.

A majority of those interviewed suffered from some form of work exhaustion.

Raija Kalimo, who conducted the study, says that a short-sighted, one-sided striving for profits may become expensive for employers, as it lowers work efficiency and increases working days lost due to illness.