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Keywords:

  • weekly work hours;
  • stress

Abstract

Background

Koreans typically work long hours. We herein analyze the relationship between the level of working hours and extent of stress complaints.

Methods

We analyzed stress complaints with respect to hours worked per week, as reported by 7,075 subjects, using data from the 2006 First Korean Working Conditions Survey. Subjects were categorized as those working fewer than 40 hr per week (short working hours, SWH); those working 40–47 hr per week (intermediate working hours, IWH); those working 48–59 hr per week (long working hours, LWH); or those working at least 60 hr per week (very long working hours, VLWH).

Results

Male subjects with IWH had an odds ratio (OR) of 0.74 for stress complaints compared to subjects with SWH (95% CI 0.53–1.04), whereas OR = 0.72 (95% CI 0.52–1.02) for stress complaints among females, comparing IWH and SWH. Males with LWH had OR = 1.15 (95% CI 0.82–1.60) for stress complaints compared to subjects with SWH, whereas the OR for females for stress complaints was 1.11 (95% CI 0.79–1.55). Male subjects with VLWH had OR = 1.72 (95% CI 1.24–2.41) for stress complaints compare to those with SWH, whereas for the female workers the OR was 1.35 (95% CI 0.93–1.98).

Conclusion

Among males, VLWH are associated with a significant increase in stress, compared with SWH. Am. J. Ind. Med. 53:1135–1141, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.