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Effects of Psychosocial Work Factors on Lifestyle Changes: A Cohort Study

Allard, Karin Olofsson BSc; Thomsen, Jane Frølund MD; Mikkelsen, Sigurd MD; Rugulies, Reiner PhD; Mors, Ole MD; Kærgaard, Anette MD; Kolstad, Henrik A. MD; Kaerlev, Linda MD; Andersen, Johan Hviid MD; Hansen, Åse Marie MSc; Bonde, Jens Peter MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: December 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 12 - p 1364–1371
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182363bda
ORIGINAL ARTICLES: CME Available for this Article at

Objective: To evaluate the effect of the demand-control-support model, the effort-reward imbalance model, and emotional demands on smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and body mass index.

Methods: This is a 2-year prospective cohort study of 3224 public sector employees. Measures were assessed with questionnaires. Multiple regression analyses were used to predict changes in lifestyle factors.

Results: Low reward predicted smoking, low-decision latitude predicted being inactive, and high demands predicted high-alcohol consumption but only for men at follow-up even after controlling for potential confounders. There were no other significant findings in the expected direction except for some of the confounders.

Conclusions: We found only limited and inconsistent support for the hypothesis that a poor psychosocial work environment is associated with an adverse lifestyle.

From the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Ms Olofsson Allard and Drs Thomsen, Mikkelsen, and Bonde), Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; National Research Centre for the Work Environment (Dr Rugulies and Ms Hansen), Copenhagen, Denmark; Centre for Psychiatric Research (Dr Mors), Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov, Denmark; Danish Ramazzini Centre (Drs Kærgaard, Kolstad, and Andersen), Department of Occupational Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital and Regional Hospital Herning, Denmark; and Center for National Clinical Databases South (Dr Kærgaard), Department of Research and HTA, Odense University Hospital, Denmark.

Address correspondence to: Karin Olofsson Allard, BSc, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, Bispebjerg Bakke 23, 2400 NV Copenhagen, Denmark (

Authors Olofsson Allard, Frølund Thomsen, Mikkelsen, Rugulies, Mors, Kærgaard, Kolstad, Kaerlev, Hviid Andersen, Hansen, and Bonde have no financial interest related to this research.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine