Online Program

Job strain, occupation and risk of unhealthy weight in baby boomers and generation x working in south Australia

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rhiannon Pilkington, BPsych(Hons), GradDip(PubHlth), PhD Candidate, Population Research and Outcome Studies, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Anne W. Taylor, MPH PhD, Population Research & Outcome Studies, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Gary A. Wittert, MBBch, MD, FRACP, FRCP, Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Graeme J. Hugo, PhD, MGEOG, Geography, Environment and Population, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
OBJECTIVE: To examine generational differences in the association between job strain, occupation, psychological distress and the risk of overweight and obesity as defined by high waist circumference ((HWC) ≥95cm (men) and ≥80cm (women)) in Baby Boomers and Generation X. METHODS: In 2011 Boomers (1946-1965;n=874) and Generation Xers (1966-1980;n=768) from wave 3(2008-10) of the North West Adelaide Health Study and wave 2(2007-10) of the Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study (methodologically similar studies) were recontacted to participate in a telephone survey to explore work related health issues. These data were linked to clinic-measured waist circumference. Multivariable logistic regression models were conducted with HWC as the dependant variable. Job strain, occupation and psychological distress were the independent variables. All models adjusted for sex, education and shift work status. Model 1 included generation as a covariate. Model 2 examined only Generation X and Model 3 only Boomers, also adjusting for age. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals are reported. RESULTS: Model 1:Boomers demonstrated greater odds of HWC(1.59,1.25-2.02). Model 2:Generation Xers in a low strain(3.33,1.96-5.64) or passive job(1.99, 1.13-3.52), community and personal services workers(2.91,1.13-7.52) and those with psychological distress(2.45,1.39-4.31) had greater odds of HWC. Odds of HWC was less in technicians or trades workers(0.47,0.23-0.96). Model 3:Boomers in a low strain job(0.51,0.29-0.89) had lower risk of HWC. Higher odds for community and personal service workers(2.25,1.05-4.81) of HWC remained. CONCLUSION: Results demonstrate generational differences and suggest occupational groups at greater risk of HWC with potential for intervention in the workplace.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate generational differences between South Australian Baby Boomers and Generation Xers in the relationship between job strain, occupation, psychological distress and high waist circumference. Identify specific occupational groups at increased risk of high waist circumference. Discuss potential workplace interventions.

Keyword(s): Obesity, Workplace Stressors

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a third year PhD Candidate studying obesity in the workplace from a generational perspective as a part of a project group investigating Australia's Baby Boomer generation, obesity and work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.