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Changes in job strain and subsequent weight gain: a longitudinal study, based on the Danish Nurse Cohort

  • Gitte Kingo Vesterlund (a1), Amélie Cléo Keller (a1) and Berit Lilienthal Heitmann (a1) (a2) (a3)
Abstract
Objective

Obesity as well as job strain is increasing, and job strain might contribute to weight gain. The objective of the current study was to examine associations between longitudinal alterations in the components of job strain and subsequent weight gain.

Design

The study was designed as a prospective cohort study with three questionnaire surveys enabling measurement of job-strain alterations over 6 years and subsequent measurements of weight gain after further 10 years of follow-up. ANCOVA and trend analyses were conducted. Job demands were measured as job busyness and speed, and control as amount of influence.

Setting

Employed nurses in Denmark.

Subjects

We included a sub-sample of 6188 female nurses from the Danish Nurse Cohort, which consisted of the nurses who participated in surveys in 1993, 1999 and 2009.

Results

A linear trend in weight gain was seen in nurses who were often busy in 1999 between those who were rarely v. sometimes v. often busy in 1993 (P=0·03), with the largest weight gain in individuals with sustained high busyness in both years. Loss of influence between 1993 and 1999 was associated with larger subsequent weight gain than sustained high influence (P=0·003) or sustained low influence (P=0·02). For speed, no associations were found.

Conclusions

Busyness, speed and influence differed in their relationship to subsequent weight gain. A decrease in job influence and a sustained burden of busyness were most strongly related to subsequent weight gain. Focus on job strain reduction and healthy diet is essential for public health.

Copyright
Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Email Berit.Lilienthal.Heitmann@regionh.dk
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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
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