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Job Stress and Work Schedules in Relation to Nurse Obesity

Han, Kihye PhD, RN; Trinkoff, Alison M. ScD, RN; Storr, Carla L. ScD; Geiger-Brown, Jeanne PhD, RN

Journal of Nursing Administration:
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3182346fff

Objectives: This study aimed to examine the relationship between job stress/work schedules (JS/WS) and obesity among nurses.

Background: Job stress and shift work are known risk factors for obesity, yet comprehensive measures of JS/WS in relation to nurse obesity have been little investigated.

Methods: Secondary data analysis used survey data from 2,103 female nurses. Obesity was measured using body mass index estimates. Binomial logistic regression models incorporated independent components of JS/WS and adjusted for demographics, nursing position, mental/emotional distress, health behaviors, and family-related covariates.

Results: Approximately 55% of the sample was overweight/obese (OW/OB). When compared with underweight/normal weight nurses, OW/OB nurses reported that their jobs had less physical exertion (odds ratio [OR] = 0.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.72-0.95, P = .01) and more limited movement (OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.02-1.28, P = .03). Long work hours (OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.08-1.40, P < .01) were significantly associated with being OW/OB as compared with underweight/normal.

Conclusions: Findings suggest interventions to limit adverse work schedules. Access to healthy food and optimal meal breaks should be investigated.

Author Information

Author Affiliations: Postdoctoral Fellow (Dr Han), Professor (Drs Trinkoff and Storr), and Associate Professor (Dr Geiger-Brown), School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Trinkoff, School of Nursing, University of Maryland, 655 West Lombard St, Room 625, Baltimore, MD 21201-1579 (

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.