The effect of the total amount of work hours and the benefits of a shortening is frequently debated, but very little data is available. The present study compared a group (N = 41) that obtained a 9 h reduction of the working week (to a 6 h day) with a comparison group (N = 22) that retained normal work hours. Both groups were constituted of mainly female health care and day care nursery personnel. The experimental group retained full pay and extra personnel were employed to compensate for loss of hours. Questionnaire data were obtained before and 1 year after the change. The data were analyzed using a two-factor ANOVA with the interaction term year*group as the main focus. The results showed a significant interaction of year*group for social factors, sleep quality, mental fatigue, and heart/respiratory complaints, and attitude to work hours. In all cases the experimental group improved whereas the control group did not change. It was concluded that shortened work hours have clear social effects and moderate effects on well-being.
Primary school teachers in Québec suffer psychological distress, as shown by the Québec Health Survey (M. Gervais, 1993; Santè Québec, 1995). The authors applied and extended the French model (F. Guérin, A. Laville, F. Daniellou, J. Duraffourg, & A. Kerguelen, 1991) of analysis of work activity to observing classroom teaching (14 women in 10 classrooms for a total of 48 hr 24 min) to identify stressful elements. The authors observed a rapid sequence of actions, eye fixations of short duration, little physical or mental relaxation, multiple simultaneous activities, and uncomfortable temperature and humidity levels. Teachers use many strategies to teach, to create a learning environment, and to maintain attention in classrooms under adverse conditions. Examination of these strategies led to recommendations to improve relations between the teachers and their supervisors and to make the classroom an easier place to teach.
This article is a study of the experiences of community based nurses; specifically, their ratings of the adequacy of time they had to complete treatment and prevention activities. Perception of adequacy of time to complete job functions is important because of its links to job satisfaction and job stress. The largest predictor of a sense of inadequate time was visit characteristics. Specifically, it was the mental health speciality team which was most likely to experience inadequate time to deliver treatment and prevention activities. Possible explanations include the time required to deliver care to this patient population, and/or the greater travelling distances and coordination activities linked to provision of services to this patient population. Nurse characteristics were also important in the analysis. Nurses with an RN designation were less likely to report stress with the time they had to complete their activities. Years of community nursing experience was also an important predictor; individuals with greater community experience were less likely to report inadequate time for their duties.
Depression is a major concern for public health. Both adverse working conditions and low socio-economic position are suspected to increase risk of depression. In a representative sample of the Danish workforce we investigated (i) whether adverse psychosocial working conditions, defined by the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) model, predicted onset of severe depressive symptoms after 5-year follow-up and (ii) whether the effect of ERI was differential across occupational grades.
A cohort of 2701 Danish employees filled in a questionnaire on work and health in 2000 and 2005. ERI was measured with four effort and seven reward items. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the five-item Mental Health Inventory. Participants scoring = 52 points were defined as cases. We used logistic regression to investigate the association of ERI and occupational grade in 2000 with onset of severe depressive symptoms in 2005. Analyses were adjusted for socio-demographics, health behaviours, survey method, self-rated health, sleep disturbances and non-severe depressive symptoms at baseline.
High ERI predicted onset of severe depressive symptoms at follow-up, after adjustment for co-variates and occupational grade (OR = 2.19, 95% CI = 1.12-4.25). Participants with high ERI and low occupational grade showed a considerably higher OR (2.43, 95% CI = 1.07-5.53) compared to participants with low/medium ERI and low grade (OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 0.72-2.92), high ERI and high grade (OR = 1.26, 95% CI = 0.59-2.70) and low/medium ERI and high grade (reference group).
Adverse psychosocial working conditions predicted onset of severe depressive symptoms. The effect was stronger among employees of lower occupational grades compared to those of higher grades.
In aging societies, zest for work may be pivotal when deciding to stay occupationally active longer. Psychosocial work stress is a prevalent public health problem and may have an impact on zest for work. Work over-commitment (WOC) is a personal coping strategy for work stress with excessive striving and a health risk. However, the long-term effect of WOC on zest for work is poorly understood.
To investigate the age-related associations of work over-commitment with zest for work.
During 1996-1998 and 2000-2003, predominantly industrial workers (n?=?2940) participated in the WOLF-Norrland study and responded to a questionnaire referring to socio-demographics, WOC, zest for work, effort-reward imbalance proxies, and mental health. Age-adjusted multiple logistic regressions were performed with original and imputed datasets.
Cross-sectionally, work overcommitted middle-aged employees had an increased prevalence of poor zest for work compared to their contemporaries without WOC (OR: 3.74 [95%-CI 2.19; 6.40]). However, in a longitudinal analysis associations between onset of 'poor zest for work' and the WOC subscales 'need for approval' (OR: 3.29 [95%-CI 1.04; 10.37]) and 'inability to withdraw from work' (OR: 5.14 [95%-CI 1.32; 20.03]) were observed.
The longitudinal findings among older employees could be relevant regarding the expected need to remain occupationally active longer.
This study was designed to explain changes in work ability through occupational and life-style factors.
Work ability was measured by an index describing workers' health resources in regard to their work demands. The work factors mainly included physical and mental demands, social organization and the physical work environment. The life-style factors covered smoking, alcohol consumption, and leisure-time physical exercise. The first questionnaire study was done in 1981 and it was repeated in 1992. The subjects (N = 818) were workers in the 44- to 51-year-old age group in the beginning of the study who were active during the entire follow-up. The improvement and, correspondingly, the decline in work ability were analyzed by logistic regression models.
Both the improvement and the decline in work ability were associated more strongly with changes in work and life-style during the follow-up than with their initial variation. The model for improved work ability included improvement of the supervisor's attitude, decreased repetitive movements at work, and increased amount of vigorous leisure-time physical exercise. Deterioration in work ability was explained by a model which included a decrease in recognition and esteem at work, decrease in workroom conditions, increase in standing at work, and decrease in vigorous leisure-time physical exercise.
Social relations at work can promote or impair the work ability of elderly workers. Although the work ability of elderly workers generally declined with aging, both older and younger workers were also able to improve their work ability.
Three-fourths of diagnostic medical sonographers (DMS) and vascular technologists (VT) experiencing discomfort due to job demands indicate having discomfort in the shoulder region. An analysis of factors related to shoulder discomfort highlighted salient factors requiring further investigation and intervention.
The respondents were a convenient sample of DMS and VT that answered a survey, hosted on a secure website.
The responses of 2,163 DMS and VT from a survey of a representative sample were analyzed to determine personal factors, work demands, and workstation design characteristics of those experiencing discomfort in the shoulder region. Frequencies and response distributions were calculated and cross tabulation with chi-square analysis was completed.
A majority of respondents with shoulder discomfort have co-morbid reports of discomfort in other locations. While overall sonographer discomfort is linked to age and years of experience, shoulder discomfort was also noted to be linked to specific workstation characteristics. A lack of adjustability in equipment, picture archiving and communication system (PACS) workstations, and positions required to complete bedside exams contributes to discomfort due to sustained and repetitive shoulder abduction and twisting of the neck and trunk.
There is a need for studies investigating redesign of equipment and workstations or interventions with DMS and VT specifically focused on improving adjustability and improved positioning of sonographers in order to reduce shoulder discomfort while performing job demands.
The first purpose of this study was to compare the psychosocial working conditions and mental health of our sample of maritime engine officers with a sample of British shore-based professional engineers. The second purpose was to analyse the relationship between the psychosocial working conditions onboard and mental strain for the Swedish maritime engine officers.
There were a total of 731 engine officers in the Swedish merchant fleet, almost all males with higher education. The British comparison sample consisted of 312 professional shore-based engineers. A questionnaire was distributed to the Swedish engine officers with a modified version of the JCQ for the DC-S model, the Role conflict and Ambiguity scale, and two items on family-work inter-role conflicts (WFI/FWI), as workload indicators. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12) and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS10) were used as strain indicators.
There were no significant differences in perceived job stain or in WFI/FWI between the Swedish engine officers and the British professional engineers in perceived job strain. While the British shore-based engineers reported significantly higher role ambiguity the Swedish engine officers perceived a significantly higher degree of role conflict and higher perceived stress. Hierarchic linear regression analysis showed that the Role Stress was strongly related to perceived stress (R(2) = 0.319) as well as to mental health (R(2) = 0.222). When introduced in the second step the DC-S model was significantly related to the outcome measures, as was WFI/FWI when finally introduced.
The main source of the high degree of perceived stress among the engine officers does not seem to be the job content but may rather be understood from an interactional perspective, where conflicting requirements are directed towards the individual officer. It can be assumed that the fast technological and organizational changes and the increased pressure for economic profitability that characterize the shipping industry have attenuated these role conflicts.
To investigate whether changes in objective working hour characteristics are associated with parallel changes in work-life conflict (WLC) among hospital employees.
Survey responses from three waves of the Finnish Public Sector study (2008, 2012 and 2015) were combined with payroll data from 91 days preceding the surveys (n=2 482, 93% women). Time-dependent fixed effects regression models adjusted for marital status, number of children and stressfulness of the life situation were used to investigate whether changes in working hour characteristics were associated with parallel change in WLC. The working hour characteristics were dichotomised with cut-points in less than or greater than 10%?or less than or greater than25%?occurrence) and WLC to frequent versus seldom/none.
Change in proportion of evening and night shifts and weekend work was significantly associated with parallel change in WLC (adjusted OR 2.19, 95%?CI 1.62 to 2.96; OR 1.71, 95%?CI 1.21 to 2.44; OR 1.63, 95%?CI 1.194 to 2.22, respectively). Similarly, increase or decrease in proportion of quick returns (adjusted OR 1.45, 95%?CI 1.10 to 1.89) and long work weeks (adjusted OR 1.26, 95%?CI 1.04 to 1.52) was associated with parallel increase or decrease in WLC. Single days off and very long work weeks showed no association with WLC.
Changes in unsocial working hour characteristics, especially in connection with evening shifts, are consistently associated with parallel changes in WLC.
It has been suggested that frequent-, short-term sick leave is associated with work environment factors, whereas long-term sick leave is associated mainly with health factors. However, studies of the hypothesis of an association between a poor working environment and frequent short spells of sick leave are few and results are inconsistent. Therefore, we aimed to explore associations between self-reported psychosocial work factors and workplace-registered frequency and length of sick leave in the eldercare sector.
Employees from the municipal eldercare in Aarhus (N = 2,534) were included. In 2005, they responded to a work environment questionnaire. Sick leave records from 2005 were dichotomised into total sick leave days (0-14 and above 14 days) and into spell patterns (0-2 short, 3-9 short, and mixed spells and 1-3 long spells). Logistic regression models were used to analyse associations; adjusted for age, gender, occupation, and number of spells or sick leave length.
The response rate was 76%; 96% of the respondents were women. Unfavourable mean scores in work pace, demands for hiding emotions, poor quality of leadership and bullying were best indicated by more than 14 sick leave days compared with 0-14 sick leave days. For work pace, the best indicator was a long-term sick leave pattern compared with a non-frequent short-term pattern. A frequent short-term sick leave pattern was a better indicator of emotional demands (1.62; 95% CI: 1.1-2.5) and role conflict (1.50; 95% CI: 1.2-1.9) than a short-term non-frequent pattern.Age (= 40 years) statistically significantly modified the association between the 1-3 long-term sick leave spell pattern and commitment to the workplace compared with the 3-9 frequent short-term pattern.
Total sick leave length and a long-term sick leave spell pattern were just as good or even better indicators of unfavourable work factor scores than a frequent short-term sick leave pattern. Scores in commitment to the workplace and quality of leadership varied with sick leave pattern and age. Thus, different sick leave measures seem to be associated with different work environment factors. Further studies on these associations may inform interventions to improve occupational health care.
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