Workaholism, sleep disorders, and potential e-learning impacts among Menoufia university staff during COVID–19 pandemic

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  • Heba Khodary Allam
    Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Egypt.
  • Mai Salah Helmy
    Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Menoufia University, Egypt.
  • Aziza Saad ElBadry
    Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Egypt.
  • Faten Ezzelarab Younis
    Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Egypt.


Background: Workaholism is described as a constant, internal drive to work and behavioral addiction to work. Studies have shown the negative associations between workaholism, job performance, and health results as disrupted sleep. The purpose of this research was to compare the prevalence of workaholics among the academic staff of practical and theoretical Faculties in Egyptian universities using the Dutch Workaholism Scale (DUWAS) and to determine associated sleep problems. Also, it studied the added impact of E-learning on the prevalence of workaholism frequency during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Design and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 336 participants. Work addiction was assessed using DUWAS (17 items) as well as questionnaires on personal, occupational characteristics, and sleep problems. DUWAS scale was repeated after six months during COVID 19 pandemic to investigate the impact of E-learning on the workaholic behavior of the studied groups.
Results: Our study revealed that the prevalence of workaholism was 33 percent. 32.8% and 33.7% were listed for the faculties of Medicine and Arts, respectively. After the COVID-19 pandemic, workaholic frequency was significantly increased to be 46.4%. Adjusted logistic regression analysis showed that workaholism had negatively impacted sleep in terms of difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, and insufficient sleep.
Conclusion: The prevalence of workaholism appears to be high among university staff members especially after COVID-19 crisis. Sleep problems were linked to workaholics more than other workers. We recommend encouraging employees to work to their contracted hours, as excess work over extended periods may have adverse effects not only on organizational productivity but also on their health.


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