August/September 2013 (vol. 10/2)

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Research Plus

Psychosocial factors and weight

Given that most working-age people spend up to a third of their time at work, it is not unreasonable to suggest that occupational factors could contribute to rising levels of obesity in the population. This systematic review (39 included studies) found only weak and inconsistent evidence for an association between psychosocial work factors and weight-related outcomes, however. There was some evidence for an association between working overtime and weight gain, particularly among male workers. The vast majority of papers (34) looked at job demands, job control or job strain and most weight-related outcomes were non significant. Fourteen studies looked at the impact of long working hours – some with statistically significant associations. It was not feasible to carry out a meta-analysis due to heterogeneity of the studies.

Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 2013; 39(3): 241–258


Occupational Health at Work August/September 2013 (vol. 10/2) pp40