Psychological stress in food retailing

1. Objectives and approach

The project “Psychological stress in food retailing” pursues five main objectives:

  1. adaption of the instrument to a food retailing company

  2. evaluation of psychological stress at different workplaces using an objective approach by a trained team

  3. evaluation of psychological stress at different workplaces using a subjective approach by interviewing employees

  4. deduction of recommendations for health-promoting actions in workshops – based on the results of the stress analyses – to reduce psychological stress at the workplace

  5. handover of the adapted tool for further implementation


Psychological stress is assessed with an instrument comprising an objective analysis approach (Michel, Sonntag, & Menzel, 2009). The instrument is characterized by two important elements:

  1. objectivity of the approach and the consent evaluation by a trained team consisting of representatives of different departments (e.g. occupational medicine, occupational safety, work council) and an industrial psychologist of Heidelberg University (during the project only)

  2. description of critical combinations of different dimensions of psychological stress.


The instrument is built upon an approved academic model, the job demands-control model by Karasek (1979). Moreover, the instrument is characterized by its practical conception that allows for a cross-sector application after its adaption to the specific company’s context. To date the instrument proved its worth in the steel processing industry, the automobile industry, the service industry and the pharmaceutical industry.


2. Further references

Michel, A., Noefer, K., & Sonntag, Kh. (2011). Erfassung psychischer Belastungen: Subjektive und objektive Analysezugänge am Beispiel von Verladetätigkeiten im Logistikbereichs eines internationalen Airports. Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft, 3.

Michel, A., Sonntag, Kh., & Menzel, L. (2009). Instrument zur Analyse von psychischen Belastungen am Arbeitsplatz – Beanspruchung erkennen, Fehlbelastung vermeiden. Personalführung, 7, 40-47.


3. Project management

Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Sonntag


4. Project implementation

Dipl.-Psych. Simone Brandstädter


5. Duration

10/2014 - 03/2015

Responsible: Email
Latest Revision: 2015-02-02
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