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Association of Workplace Chronic and Acute Stressors With Employee Weight Status: Data From Worksites in Turmoil

Fernandez, Isabel Diana MD, MPH, PhD; Su, Hayan MA, PhD; Winters, Paul C. MS; Liang, Hua PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 1S - p S34-S41
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181c88525
Original Articles

Objectives: To examine the independent and joint effects of psychosocial chronic and acute stressors with weight status and to report the intraclass correlation coefficient for body mass index (BMI).

Methods: Baseline data on 2782 employees from a group-randomized weight gain prevention intervention were examined to investigate the effect of high job strain and job insecurity on BMI and on the odds of overweight/obesity including potential confounders and mediating variables. Data were analyzed using mixed models.

Results: The mediating variables removed the effect of high job strain on weight (β = 0.68, P = 0.07; odds ratios = 1.34, confidence interval = 1.00 to 1.80) whereas job insecurity was never significant. Intraclass correlation coefficient for BMI is 0.0195, 0.0193, and 0.0346 overall, for men and women, respectively.

Conclusion: Worksite wellness should target health enhancing behaviors to minimize the health effects of psychosocial work conditions.

From the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine (Dr Fernandez), Division of Epidemiology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY; Department of Mathematical Sciences (Dr Su), Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ; Family Medicine Research (Mr Winters), University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry; and Department of Biostatistics and Computation Biology (Dr Liang), University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY.

Address correspondence to: Isabel Diana Fernandez, MD, MPH, PhD, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 601 Elmwood Ave., Box 644, Rochester, NY 14642; E-mail: diana_fernandez@urmc.rochester.edu.

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine