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Busy yet socially engaged: volunteering, work-life balance, and health in the working population


Ramos, Romualdo; Brauchli, Rebecca; Bauer, Georg; Wehner, Theo; Hämmig, Oliver (2015). Busy yet socially engaged: volunteering, work-life balance, and health in the working population. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 57(2):164-172.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To understand the relationship between volunteering and health in the overlooked yet highly engaged working population, adopting a contextualizing balance approach. We hypothesize that volunteering may function as a psychosocial resource, contributing to work-life balance and, ultimately, health. METHODS A total of 746 Swiss workers participated in an online survey; 35% (N = 264) were additionally volunteers in a nonprofit organization. We assessed volunteering, work-life balance perceptions, paid job demands, and resources and health outcomes. RESULTS After controlling for job characteristics, volunteering was associated with less work-life conflict, burnout and stress, and better positive mental health. Results further revealed that balance perceptions partly explained the relationship between volunteering and health. CONCLUSIONS Volunteering, albeit energy and time-consuming, may contribute to a greater sense of balance for people in the workforce, which might, in turn, positively influence health.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To understand the relationship between volunteering and health in the overlooked yet highly engaged working population, adopting a contextualizing balance approach. We hypothesize that volunteering may function as a psychosocial resource, contributing to work-life balance and, ultimately, health. METHODS A total of 746 Swiss workers participated in an online survey; 35% (N = 264) were additionally volunteers in a nonprofit organization. We assessed volunteering, work-life balance perceptions, paid job demands, and resources and health outcomes. RESULTS After controlling for job characteristics, volunteering was associated with less work-life conflict, burnout and stress, and better positive mental health. Results further revealed that balance perceptions partly explained the relationship between volunteering and health. CONCLUSIONS Volunteering, albeit energy and time-consuming, may contribute to a greater sense of balance for people in the workforce, which might, in turn, positively influence health.

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3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:February 2015
Deposited On:22 Dec 2015 08:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:44
Publisher:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISSN:1076-2752
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000327
PubMed ID:25654517

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