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Relationship Between Long Working Hours and Depression in Two Working Populations: A Structural Equation Model Approach

Amagasa, Takashi MD, MPH; Nakayama, Takeo MD, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 7 - p 868–874
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318250ca00
Original Articles

Objectives: To test the hypothesis that relationship reported between long working hours and depression was inconsistent in previous studies because job demand was treated as a confounder.

Methods: Structural equation modeling was used to construct five models, using work-related factors and depressive mood scale obtained from 218 clerical workers, to test for goodness of fit and was externally validated with data obtained from 1160 sales workers. Multiple logistic regression analysis was also performed.

Results: The model that showed that long working hours increased depression risk when job demand was regarded as an intermediate variable was the best fitted model (goodness-of-fit index/root-mean-square error of approximation: 0.981 to 0.996/0.042 to 0.044). The odds ratio for depression risk with work that was high demand and 60 hours or more per week was estimated at 2 to 4 versus work that was low demand and less than 60 hours per week.

Conclusions: Long working hours increased depression risk, with job demand being an intermediate variable.

From the Department of Health Informatics (Drs Amagasa and Nakayama), Kyoto University School of Public Health, Konoe-cho, Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto; and Department of Psychiatry (Dr Amagasa), Yoyogi Hospital, Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Address correspondence to: Takashi Amagasa, MD, MPH, Department of Health Informatics, Kyoto University School of Public Health, Konoe-cho, Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine