Physical workload, long-term sickness absence, and the role of social capital. Multi-level analysis of a large occupation cohort.

Török, E, Clark, AJ, Ersbøll, AK, Bjorner, JB, Holtermann, A, Rugulies, R, LaMontagne, Anthony, Milner, A and Rod, NH 2020, Physical workload, long-term sickness absence, and the role of social capital. Multi-level analysis of a large occupation cohort., Scand J Work Environ Health, vol. 46, no. 4, pp. 373-381, doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3874.


Title Physical workload, long-term sickness absence, and the role of social capital. Multi-level analysis of a large occupation cohort.
Author(s) Török, E
Clark, AJ
Ersbøll, AK
Bjorner, JB
Holtermann, A
Rugulies, R
LaMontagne, AnthonyORCID iD for LaMontagne, Anthony orcid.org/0000-0002-5811-5906
Milner, A
Rod, NH
Journal name Scand J Work Environ Health
Volume number 46
Issue number 4
Start page 373
End page 381
Total pages 9
Place of publication Finland
Publication date 2020-07-01
ISSN 1795-990X
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
buffer
collaboration
effect modification
healthcare
justice
stress
trust
work environment
PSYCHOSOCIAL RISK-FACTORS
LOW-BACK-PAIN
DISABILITY PENSION
HEART-DISEASE
WORKING LIFE
WORKPLACE
HEALTH
ENVIRONMENT
EMPLOYEES
EXPOSURES
Summary Objectives This study determined the prospective relation between physical workload and long-term sickness absence (LTSA) and examined if work-unit social capital may buffer the effect of high physical workload on LTSA. Methods We included 28 925 participants from the Danish Well-being in HospitAL Employees (WHALE) cohort, and followed them for two years. Physical workload and social capital were self-reported and categorized into low, medium, and high. Physical workload was analyzed on the individual level, whereas social capital was analyzed on the work-unit level. LTSA data were obtained from the employers' payroll system. We performed two-level logistic regression analyses: joint-effect and stratified analyses adjusted for baseline covariates. Results High versus low physical workload was associated with a higher risk of LTSA [odds ratio (OR) 1.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.40-1.72]. There was a multiplicative interaction (P=0.007) and a tendency of sub-additive interaction [relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI) -0.49, 95% CI -1.03-0.06] between physical workload and social capital. Doubly exposed employees had the highest risk of LTSA (OR 2.45; 95% CI 2.02-2.98), but this effect was smaller than expected from the sum of their main effects. Conclusions We found a prospective relation between physical workload and LTSA but no evidence of high social capital buffering the effect of high physical workload. High physical workload was a risk factor for LTSA at all levels of social capital and employees exposed to both exposures had the highest risk of LTSA. Interventions should aim at both improving social capital and reducing physical workload in order to efficiently prevent LTSA.
Language eng
DOI 10.5271/sjweh.3874
Field of Research 1117 Public Health and Health Services
1701 Psychology

Document type: Journal Article
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