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Comparison of Job Stress and Obesity in Nurses With Favorable and Unfavorable Work Schedules

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

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 8 - p 928–932
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31825b1bfc

Objectives: To compare obesity-related factors between female nurses with favorable work schedules (WSs) and unfavorable WSs.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 1724 female nurses were stratified by WS (favorable vs unfavorable). For each schedule type, the odds of obesity were related to health behaviors, home demands, and job stress using logistic regression models.

Results: Among nurses with unfavorable WSs, healthy behaviors (exercise, sleep) were inversely associated with obesity, whereas for those with favorable WSs, obese nurses reported significantly more unhealthy behaviors (smoking, alcohol use; odds ratio [OR], 1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02–1.38), more physical lifting of children/dependents (OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.06–1.93), having more nurse input into their jobs (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.02–1.44), yet less boss support at work (OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.68–0.99).

Conclusions: Considering impacts of WSs on obesity and potential obesity-related health outcomes, healthful scheduling should be provided to nurses.

From the School of Nursing (Drs Han, Trinkoff, Storr, Geiger-Brown, and Johnson), University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD; and College of Nursing (Dr Park), Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.

Address correspondence to: Alison M. Trinkoff, ScD, RN, University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 W. Lombard St, Rm 625, Baltimore, MD 21201 (

This study was a part of a doctoral dissertation research project and has no additional funding sources.

The original data collection for the Nurses Worklife and Health Study was supported by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health R01 OH07554 (Dr Trinkoff, PI).

None of the authors had any conflicts of interest for the publication of this article.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine