Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2007;33(5):344-350    pdf


Gender perspective in the analysis of the relationship between long workhours, health and health-related behavior

by Artazcoz L, Cortès I, Borrell C, Escribà-Agüir V, Cascant L

Objectives The objective of this study was to analyze gender differences in the impact of long workhours (>40 hours per week) on a variety of health outcomes and health-related behavior.

Methods The sample included all salaried contract workers aged 16–64 years (1658 men and 1134 women) and interviewed in the 2002 Catalonian Health Survey.

Results Whereas the men with a high job status were more likely to work >40 hours a week, long workhours were associated with situations of vulnerability (low job status and being separated or divorced) among the women. For both genders, working >40 hours was related to a shortage of sleep [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.54, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.21–1.98, for the men and aOR 1.63, 95% CI 1.11–2.38, for the women]. Among the women, long workhours were also associated with poor mental health status (aOR 1.58, 95% CI 1.04–2.40), hypertension (aOR 2.25, 95% CI 1.17–4.32), job dissatisfaction (aOR 1.77, 95% CI 1.08–2.90), and smoking (aOR 1.71, 95% CI 1.22–2.39). In addition, among the women working more hours at home, long workhours were related to sedentary leisure time activity (aOR 1.98, 95% CI 1.06–3.71).

Conclusions The relationship between long workhours and health and health-related behavior was found to be directly related to long worktime and indirectly related to long exposure to poor work conditions among the women and, to a less extent, to domestic work. The pathways that explain the relationship between long workhours and health and health-related behavior seems to depend on the outcome being analyzed.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2003;29(3):171-188  2003;29(3):167-169