The fast pace of life is a global trend that is here to stay. Motivated mainly by technological evolution, this change has not only brought advantages, interfering more and more in the well-being of the world population. Consequently, people practice less and less physical exercise, have less and less leisure time and, in general, lead a more sedentary life. All these factors have a real impact on health, raising the risk of burnout, among many other diseases.

Burnout is a syndrome associated with a high degree of physical, mental and emotional fatigue, meaning “burning to exhaustion”. This is multifactorial and can have several causes, but it is usually related to an overly demanding professional context, being known as the burnout syndrome and integrating the International Classification of diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2019.

This is one of the biggest problems that organizations face in today’s society, being associated with the most diverse professions and sectors. In Portugal, it is estimated that 17.3% of workers are in burnout, according to a 2016 study by the Occupational Health Psychology Association.

In most cases, this syndrome is associated with long working hours, high competitiveness, task overload and high demand, resulting from a context of chronic stress.

The most common symptoms, identified by the WHO, are:

  • Constant tiredness;
  • Demotivation;
  • Mood changes (sadness, apathy, irritability), appetite and sleep;
  • Headaches, lower back and/or belly pain;
  • Feeling of failure;
  • Low productivity;
  • Social isolation.

In this sense, it is essential that organizations promote a healthy environment and the well-being of their employees. Investing in such measures significantly reduces healthcare costs, leading to a clear improvement in the physical and mental well-being of employees, as well as an increase in productivity.