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The Effects of Workplace Flexibility on Health Behaviors: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analysis

Grzywacz, Joseph G. PhD; Casey, Patrick R. BS; Jones, Fiona A. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: December 2007 - Volume 49 - Issue 12 - p 1302-1309
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31815ae9bc
Original Articles
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CME

Objective: To examine the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between workplace flexibility and health behaviors, and estimate the potential importance of flexibility for effective worksite health promotion programs.

Method: Cross-sectional and longitudinal health risk appraisal data were obtained from US based employees of a multinational pharmaceutical company (n = 3193). Examined health behaviors were hours of sleep, physical activity frequency, health education seminar attendance, frequency of practicing personal resilience techniques, and self-appraised lifestyle. Self-reported flexibility in the workplace was the primary independent variable.

Results: Each health behavior, except regular attendance in health education seminars, was positively related to perceived flexibility in cross-sectional analyses. Sleep and self-appraised lifestyle were significantly related to changes in perceived flexibility over time.

Conclusions: Workplace flexibility may contribute to positive lifestyle behaviors, and may play an important role in effective worksite health promotion programs.

From the Department of Family and Community Medicine (Dr Grzywacz and Mr Casey), Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC; and Institute of Psychological Sciences (Dr Jones), University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom.

CME Available for this Article at ACOEM.org

The work of Joseph G. Grzywacz and Patrick R. Casey was supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Address correspondence to: Joseph G. Grzywacz, PhD, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1084; E-mail: grzywacz@wfubmc.edu.

©2007The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine