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Journal: Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health


Blunted nighttime blood pressure dipping is an established cardiovascular risk factor. This study examined the effect of job strain on nighttime blood pressure dipping among men and women with high blood pressure.

Concepts: Blood, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, Blood vessel, Cardiovascular disease, Blood pressure, Orthostatic hypotension


Procedural justice perceptions are shown to be associated with minor psychiatric disorders, long sickness absence spells, and poor self-rated health, but previous studies have rarely considered how changes in procedural justice influence changes in health.

Concepts: Psychology, Mental disorder, Change, Psychiatry, Justice


This study examines whether precarious employment increases the risk of serious psychological distress (SPD) in a nationally representative cohort of Japanese middle-aged people.

Concepts: Cohort study


Objective Insufficient time for recovery between workdays may cause fatigue and disturbed sleep. This study evaluated the impact of an intervention that reduced weekly working hours by 25% on sleep, sleepiness and perceived stress for employees within the public sector. Method Participating workplaces (N=33) were randomized into intervention and control groups. Participants (N=580, 76% women) worked full-time at baseline. The intervention group (N=354) reduced worktime to 75% with preserved salary during 18 months. Data were collected at baseline and after 9 and 18 months follow-up. Sleep quality, sleep duration, sleepiness, perceived stress,and worries, and stress at bedtime were measured with diary during one week per data collection. Result A multilevel mixed model showed that compared with the control group, at the 18-month follow-up, the intervention group had improved sleep quality and sleep duration (+23 minutes) and displayed reduced levels of sleepiness, perceived stress and worries, and stress at bedtime on workdays (P<0.002). The same effects were shown for days off (P<0.006), except for sleep length. Effect sizes were small (Cohen's f2<0.08). Adding gender, age, having children living at home, and baseline values of sleep quality and worries and stress at bedtime as additional between-group factors did not influence the results. Conclusion A 25% reduction of weekly work hours with retained salary resulted in beneficial effects on sleep, sleepiness and perceived stress both on workdays and days off. These effects were maintained over an 18-month period. This randomized intervention thus indicates that reduced worktime may improve recovery and perceived stress.

Concepts: Controlling for a variable, Scientific control, Scientific method, Sleep, Stress, Fatigue, Somnolence, Result


Objectives We investigated the association of shift and night work with the incidence of prostate cancer using data of the population-based prospective Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study from the highly industrialized Ruhr area in Germany. Methods Participants of the baseline survey were recruited between 2000-2003. A follow-up survey including, a detailed interview on shift and night work, was conducted from 2011-2014. We included 1757 men who did not report a history of prostate cancer at baseline. We assessed shift- and night-work exposure up to time of the baseline interview. Incident prostate cancers were recorded from baseline through September 2014. We calculated hazard ratios (HR) of shift- and night-work exposure using Cox proportional hazards regression with age at event as timescale, adjusting for smoking status, family history of prostate cancer, education (≤13, 14-17, ≥18 years), and equivalent income (low, medium, high). Results We observed a twofold increased HR for prostate cancer among shift and night workers. Ever employment in shift work was associated with HR 2.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43-3.67 and night work with HR 2.27, 95% CI 1.42-3.64. HR increased steadily with duration of employment in shift or night work. Stratifying analyses by preferred midpoint of sleep, yielded strongly elevated HR among subjects with early sleep preference, although these analyses were limited by small number of cases. Conclusions We identified increased risks for prostate cancer among men with employment in shift or night work. HR were strongly elevated among long-term employed shift workers and men with early preferred midpoint of sleep.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Cancer, Metastasis, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, Employment, Shift work


This study investigated whether self-reported psychological distress and depressive and burnout symptoms were associated with cortisol concentrations among workers.

Concepts: Psychology


DAS was an artificial clay which, once molded, hardened at room temperature. It was largely used as a toy between 1963 and 1975 in Italy, Netherlands, Germany, UK and Norway. This short communication describes and reports the presence of asbestos in DAS.

Concepts: European Union, Germany, NATO


Objectives This study aimed to determine the associations between objectively measured sitting and standing duration and intensity of low-back pain (LBP) among Norwegian construction and healthcare workers. Methods One-hundred and twenty-four workers wore two accelerometers for 3-4 consecutive days, during work and leisure. Minutes of sitting and standing was calculated from accelerometer data. We obtained self-reported LBP intensity (0-3) at the time of objective measurement and after six months. We examined associations with linear mixed models and presented results per 100 minutes. Results For healthcare workers, the duration of sitting during work [β= -0.33, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) -0.55- -0.10] and during full-day (work + leisure) (β= -0.21, 95% CI -0.38- -0.04) was associated with baseline LBP intensity. Furthermore, minutes of sitting at work (β=-0.35, 95% CI -0.57- -0.13) and during the full day (β=-0.20, 95% CI -0.37- -0.04) were significantly associated with LBP intensity at six months. Associations were attenuated when adjusting for work-related mechanical and psychosocial covariates and objectively measured exposure during leisure time. No significant associations between sitting and LBP intensity were found for construction workers. Standing at work was not consistently associated with LBP intensity at baseline or after six months for any work sector. Conclusions This study suggests that a long duration of sitting at work is associated with lower levels of LBP intensity among healthcare workers. Standing duration had no consistent associations with LBP intensity.

Concepts: Health, Measurement, Accelerometer, Leisure


OBJECTIVES: Associations between psychosocial work environment and excess weight have not been systematically addressed. The aim of this systematic review was to summarize the published evidence for the associations of psychosocial factors at work and long work hours with weight-related outcomes . Methods We conducted a search of Medline and Embase for all original articles published up to September 2012 using predefined keywords. After excluding studies with a definite selection bias, we included 39 articles. RESULTS: About 60% of the studies reported at least one positive association between psychosocial factors at work and a weight-related outcome. However, 76% of the tested associations were found to be non-significant. Furthermore, the associations were rather weak. Studies of higher quality tended to observe associations more often than those of lower quality. Positive associations were found more frequently (i) among women versus men, (ii) in cross-sectional versus longitudinal studies, and (iii) for overweight or obesity versus other outcomes. About 70% of the studies reported positive associations between long work hours and weight-related outcomes. All four studies that evaluated the association between working overtime and weight gain (three longitudinal and one cross-sectional), showed a positive association among men and two of them also observed associations among women. CONCLUSIONS: We found evidence for weak associations between psychosocial factors at work and excess weight. Associations were observed between long work hours, working overtime, and weight gain, especially among men. More cohort studies among non-obese baseline participants using appropriate analytical methods based on an elaborated hypothetical model are needed.

Concepts: Scientific method, Cohort study, Longitudinal study, Cross-sectional study, Observation, The Association, Hypothesis


Shift workers are prone to obesity and associated co-morbidities such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Sleep restriction associated with shift work results in dramatic endocrine and metabolic effects that predispose shift workers to these adverse health consequences. While sleep restriction has been associated with increased caloric intake, food preference may also play a key role in weight gain associated with shift work. This study examined the impact of an overnight simulated night shift on food preference.

Concepts: Nutrition, Shift work