Medical Definition of Ergophobia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ergophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of work. Sufferers of ergophobia experience undue anxiety about the workplace environment even though they realize their fear is irrational. Their fear may actually be a combination of fears, such fear of failing at assigned tasks, fear of speaking before groups at work, or fear of socializing with co-workers.

"Ergophobia" is derived from the Greek "ergon" (work) and "phobos" (fear). "Ergo" is also used to form other English words, including "ergometer" (a device that measures the amount of work done by muscles) and "ergonomics" (an applied science that designs office equipment and furniture with the aim of maximizing functionality and improving worker comfort).

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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