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Eur J Public Health. 2008 Oct;18(5):504-8. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckn037. Epub 2008 May 31.

Employment trajectory as determinant of change in health-related lifestyle: the prospective HeSSup study.

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  • 1Tampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere, Finland. pekka.j.virtanen@uta.fi

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Changes in employment status may be associated with changes in health-related lifestyle, but population level research of such associations is very limited. This study aimed to determine associations between lifestyle and five employment trajectories, i.e. 'stable', 'unstable', 'upward' 'downward' and 'chronic unemployment'.

METHODS:

A cohort of 10,100 employees was followed up for 5 years. Associations of the employment trajectories with changes in smoking, alcohol drinking, body weight, physical activity and sleep duration were assessed with analysis of variance for repeated measures and pairwise post hoc comparisons.

RESULTS:

Smoking was the only lifestyle component that was not associated with employment trajectory. In both genders, sleep duration decreased during chronic unemployment and among those on a downward employment trajectory. In men, alcohol consumption also increased in these two groups and body weight increased in the latter group. In women, physical activity decreased among those on a downward trajectory. In contrast, an upward labour market trajectory was associated with healthy or no changes in lifestyle both in men and women.

CONCLUSION:

Changes in lifestyle may contribute to development of the health gradients between the employed and unemployed, whereas unstable employment versus permanent employment does not incur risk of unhealthy lifestyle changes. In order to prevent widening of employment-related health inequalities, passages into employment should be facilitated and opportunities for health promotion should be improved among those trapped in or moving towards the labour market periphery.

PMID:
18515862
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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