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Work, work-life conflict and health in an industrial work environment


Hämmig, Oliver; Bauer, Georg F (2014). Work, work-life conflict and health in an industrial work environment. Occupational Medicine (Oxford, England), 64(1):34-38.

Abstract

BackgroundWork-life conflict has been poorly studied as a cause of ill-health in occupational medicine.AimsTo study associations between physical and psychosocial working conditions, including work-life conflict on the one hand and general, physical and mental health outcomes on the other.MethodsCross-sectional data were used from an employee survey among the workforces of four medium-sized and large companies in Switzerland. Physical work factors included five demands and exposures such as heavy loads, repetitive work and poor posture. Psychosocial factors included 14 demands and limited resources such as time pressure, overtime, monotonous work, job insecurity, low job autonomy, low social support and work-life conflict. Health outcomes studied were self-rated health, sickness absence, musculoskeletal disorders, sleep disorders, stress and burnout.ResultsThere was a response rate of 49%; 2014 employees participated. All adverse working conditions were positively associated with several poor health outcomes in both men and women. After mutual adjustment for all work factors and additional covariates, only a few, mainly psychosocial work factors remained significant as risk factors for health. Work-life conflict, a largely neglected work-related psychosocial factor in occupational medicine, turned out to be the only factor that was significantly and strongly associated with all studied health outcomes and was consistently found to be the strongest or second strongest of all the studied risk factors.ConclusionsEven in an industrial work environment, psychosocial work factors, and particularly work-life conflict, play a key role and need to be taken into consideration in research and workplace health promotion.

Abstract

BackgroundWork-life conflict has been poorly studied as a cause of ill-health in occupational medicine.AimsTo study associations between physical and psychosocial working conditions, including work-life conflict on the one hand and general, physical and mental health outcomes on the other.MethodsCross-sectional data were used from an employee survey among the workforces of four medium-sized and large companies in Switzerland. Physical work factors included five demands and exposures such as heavy loads, repetitive work and poor posture. Psychosocial factors included 14 demands and limited resources such as time pressure, overtime, monotonous work, job insecurity, low job autonomy, low social support and work-life conflict. Health outcomes studied were self-rated health, sickness absence, musculoskeletal disorders, sleep disorders, stress and burnout.ResultsThere was a response rate of 49%; 2014 employees participated. All adverse working conditions were positively associated with several poor health outcomes in both men and women. After mutual adjustment for all work factors and additional covariates, only a few, mainly psychosocial work factors remained significant as risk factors for health. Work-life conflict, a largely neglected work-related psychosocial factor in occupational medicine, turned out to be the only factor that was significantly and strongly associated with all studied health outcomes and was consistently found to be the strongest or second strongest of all the studied risk factors.ConclusionsEven in an industrial work environment, psychosocial work factors, and particularly work-life conflict, play a key role and need to be taken into consideration in research and workplace health promotion.

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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:2014
Deposited On:09 Jan 2014 07:29
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 01:43
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0962-7480
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqt127
PubMed ID:24225493

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