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Dace Visnola, Dagmāra Sprūdža, Mārīte Ārija Baķe and Anita Piķe

Effects of art therapy on stress and anxiety of employees

The study was designed to determine if art therapy has any effect on the stress and anxiety of employees. The results demonstrated that before and after art therapy in the study group, the level of the stress indicator (cortisol) over twenty-four hours and also the state of anxiety decreased significantly (P < 0.05). The mean final stress level and situational anxiety for the study group were significantly lower (P < 0.05) than those for the control group. No significant changes were found for trait anxiety in any of the groups. These findings suggest that art therapy for employees is a preventive measure for a person to understand stress situations and to be capable to manage their anxiety, react adequately and to cope with stress, thus improving the quality of life by creative means.

Open access

Žanna Martinsone, Māra Pilmane, Georgijs Moisejevs, Dagmāra Sprūdža and Mārīte Ārija Baķe

Abstract

Humans are exposed to chemicals and PM (particulate matter), including ultrafine particles (nanoparticles), mainly through inhalation. This creates a risk to their health. Another effect to exposure is expression of cytokines and their role in lung inflammation and morphpathogenesis. We conducted a pilot project based on testing of realistic exposure scenarios by describing morphological changes of the respiratory tract in Wistar rats (male) during a 30-day exposure in office where there was high intensity of printing activities. Tracheal tissue of experimental animals had increasing concentrations of inflammatory interleukin IL-1 and decreasing concentrations of IL-6 and TNF-α. The lungs of the experimental animals tended to show focal infiltration of inflammatory cells, vascular plethora, focal and/or diffuse localisation of lymphatic nodules, and also vascular sclerosis and focal emphysema. The results suggested potential dangerous and adverse effect of poor indoor air quality (particles, including nanoparticles, and chemical compounds) on respiratory tract tissue of rats.

Open access

Dagmāra Sprūdža, Maija Eglīte, Mārīte Baķe, Žanna Martinsone, Linda Matisāne, Inese Mārtiņsone, Anita Piķe, Ivars Vanadziņš and Vija Kluša

Evaluation of work conditions and occupational health risk factors in enterprises within a 10-year period in Latvia

The objective of the study was to conduct a survey in the field of occupational health and safety the results of which could be used in rational and effective decision making for elaboration of employment and social policy programmes and for ensuring occupational safety and health programme development. During the study the following groups of people were surveyed: employers, occupational health and safety specialists, and employees. The traditional work risk factors (physical, chemical, biological) have changed to new risks (psychosocial, ergonomic, microclimatic) in Latvia today. The study included objective assessment of occupational health and safety situation (analysis of work environment risk factors measurement data bases, information on occupational diseases, workplace accidents). Results of measurements showed that one-third of measured risk factors values exceeded mandatory or recommended limits but situation has been improved during the last years (2002 compared to 2006). The results of surveys reveal insufficient assessment of risk factors in workplaces and selection of most hazardous ones only. Awareness and understanding of employers and employees regarding occupational health and safety requirements was dissatisfactory. The results of the study reveal a low level of workplace accidents compared to other countries within EU, which may be the result of poor registration system in Latvia. Strengthening of occupational safety and health normative basis and improvement of qualification of occupational physicians has increased the number of occupational diseases and patients revealed for the first time from 1996 to 2006. Early diagnose of occupational diseases and effective rehabilitation is an important question to favour a more rapid return of workforce after occupational morbidity. Study showed that attention should further be paid to simplification of legal requirements, development of alternative methods for informing and educating people, as well as recurrent definition of national indicators to assess efficacy of implemented measures related to occupational health and safety.

Open access

Ivars Vanadziņš, Maija Eglīte, Mārīte Baķe, Dagmāra Sprūdža, Žanna Martinsone, Inese Mārtiņsone, Ņina Rusakova, Anita Piķe and Pāvels Sudmalis

Estimation of risk factors of the work environment and analysis of employees' self estimation in the wood processing industry

The aims of our study were to determine risk factors of the work environment in the wood processing industry in Latvia during 1998-2006, to conduct a survey and self- evaluation of health of the employees and to elaborate a set of preventive measures for improvement of the work environment. The work conditions in wood processing companies in Latvia over the study period were poor; of a total of 940 evaluated workplaces/processes in more than one half of cases (n = 483), the risk factors of the working environment exceeded the occupational exposure limits. Measurements made in wood processing and furniture manufacturing most frequently limiting values or recommended values of the occupational exposure were exceeded for noise, indoor air, lighting, welding spray, whole-body vibration, wood dust and other risk factors. Self-evaluation of health by employees indicates that the main health problems were pain in the back and joints, poor hearing, eye irritation, skin irritation and inflammation, chronic coughing, rhinitis, recurring windpipe inflammations, and frequent headaches. Self-evaluation of employees indicated poor diagnostics of occupational diseases and work related diseases as for 82% of the respondents with health complaints they were not confirmed with medical diagnosis.

Open access

Dagmāra Sprūdža, Lāsma Kozlova, Svetlana Lakiša, Inese Mārtiņsone, Ivars Vanadziņš, Mārīte Ārija Baķe and Renārs Erts

Abstract

There are many factors that affect the well-being and health of employees and the productivity of organisations. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of the Metal Age training programme (MA®) on the well-being of office workers, including investigation of work ability, the stress-causing factors and role of leadership. The study was carried out using questions from four international questionnaires about stress, leadership, and work ability. The intervention group had a training course between the surveys using the ME® method. Several employee stress-causing factors were identified: bad relationship with their workmates was mentioned by 94% of workers; competitive and strenuous atmosphere — by more than 80%; psychological violence or bullying at the workplace by more than 80%, and more than 75% of employee’s could not relax after work. Wellness and microclimate in the workplaces were on a relatively high level: the average rating of seven Kiva questions was 7.5. The respondent attitude after ME® did not change significantly. Latvian office workers displayed moderate and good work ability (Work Ability Index, WAI 34.5–38.6). The best work ability was shown in the age group from 20 to 49 (WAI 34.8–39.4); work ability decreased with age. The best correlation was observed between Work Ability Index and “get into situations, that invoke negative feelings” (r = 0.26) and “carrying out ongoing tasks because of other intervening or more urgent matters” (r = −0.24). After ME® the reaction to some stress-causing factors was improved.