OA Epidemiology

The Effects of Work-Related Factors and Work Engagement on Mental and Physical Health: One Year Follow-Up Study among Older Workers

Proceedings of the 2013 annual meeting of the Netherlands Epidemiology Society

Volume 1 Issue S1 Abstract 14

 

F.R.M. Leijten, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
S.G. van den Heuvel, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands
A.J. van der Beek, Department of Public and Occupational Health, the EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
J.F. Ybema, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands
S.J.W. Robroek, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
A. Burdorf, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Background
Work factors and work engagement have been found to associate with health in past studies, and poor health in turn is associated with sustainable employability. The goals of this study were to determine whether work-related factors and work engagement were differently associated with mental and physical health and whether work engagement modified associations between work factors and health.

Methods
A one-year longitudinal study with employed persons aged 45 to 64 years was conducted within the Study on Transitions in Employment, Ability, and Motivation (N=8837). With an online questionnaire, work-related psychosocial and physical factors and work engagement were measured at baseline and health, assessed with the Short Form-12 Health Survey, at one-year follow-up. General linear regression models (GLM) were used to assess associations of dichotomized work engagement and work factors with health. Interaction terms were tested to assess whether work engagement modified work factor-health associations.

Results
High task demands, low autonomy, and low support were associated with reduced mental health. High physical load, high task demands, and low autonomy were associated with reduced physical health. High work engagement predicted good physical and especially mental health. Several marginal interaction effects were found between work engagement and work factors on health (changes in explained variance <0.2%).

Conclusions
The strong association of work engagement with health suggests that the promotion of a high work engagement can positively influence health.

Published: 06 Jun, 2013

 
Licensee OA Publishing London 2013. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)