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Happy Worker: Walking to Work less stressful than driving

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Relationship between commuting and health outcomes in a cross-sectional population survey in southern Sweden. Background; The need for a mobile workforce inevitably means that the length of the total work day (working and traveling time) will increase, but the health effects of commuting have been surprisingly little studied apart from perceived stress and the benefits of physically active commuting. Methods; We used data from two cross-sectional population-based public health surveys performed in 2004 and 2008 in Scania, Sweden (56 % response rate). The final study population was 21,088 persons aged 18-65, working >30 h/week. Duration (one-way) and mode of commuting were reported. The outcomes studied were perceived poor sleep quality, everyday stress, low vitality, mental health, self-reported health, and absence from work due to sickness during the past 12 months. Covariates indicating socioeconomic

status and family situation, overtime, job strain and urban/rural residency were included in multivariate analyses. Subjects walking or cycling to work <30 min were used as a reference category. Results; Monotonous relations were found between duration of public transport commuting and the health outcomes. For the category commuting >60 min odds ratios (ORs) ranged from 1.2 – 1.6 for the different outcomes. For car commuting, the relationships were concave downward or flat, with increasing subjective health complaints up to 30-60 min (ORs ranging from 1.2 – 1.4), and lower ORs in the > 60 min category. A similar concave downward relationship was observed for sickness absence, regardless of mode of transport.Conclusions; The results of this study are concordant with the few earlier studies in the field, in that associations were found between commutation and negative health outcomes. This further demonstrates the need to consider the negative side-effects of commuting when discussing policies aimed at increasing the mobility of the workforce. Studies identifying population groups with increased susceptibility are warranted. – Lund University located in Lund in the province of Scania,Sweden, is one of northern Europe’s most prestigious universities and one ofScandinavia’s largest institutions for education and research, frequently ranked among the world’s top 100 universities.The university was founded in 1666 and is the second oldest Swedish university, but can arguably trace its roots back to 1438, when a studium

generale was founded in Lund. Contacts: Erik Hansson. Sources: BMC Public Health published & Lund University. ~ Job satisfaction describes how content an individual is with his /her job. The happier people are within their job, the more satisfied they are said to be. Job satisfaction is not the same as motivation or aptitude, although it is clearly linked. Job design aims to enhance job satisfaction and performance, methods include job rotation, job enlargement, job enrichment and job re-engineering. Other influences on satisfaction include the management style and culture, employee involvement, empowerment and autonomous work position. Job satisfaction is a very important attribute which is frequently measured by organizations. The most common way of measurement is the use of rating scales where employees report their reactions to their jobs. Questions relate to rate of pay, work responsibilities, variety of tasks, promotional opportunities, the work itself and co-workers. Job satisfaction has been defined as a pleasurable emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job;an affective reaction to one’s job;and an attitude towards one’s job.Weiss (2002) has argued that job satisfaction is an attitude but points out that researchers should clearly distinguish the objects of cognitive evaluation which are affect (emotion), beliefs and behaviours. This definition suggests that we form attitudes towards our jobs by taking into account our feelings, our beliefs, and our behaviors. G.N.

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