Health behaviors and occupational stress of Brazilian civil servants living in an urban center

Authors

  • Janaina Lavalli Goston,

    1. Observatory for Urban Health/Epidemiology Research Group (OSUBH/GPE), Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
    2. Public Health Postgraduate Program, School of Medicine, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Minas Gerais, Brazil
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  • Waleska Teixeira Caiaffa MD, MPH, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Observatory for Urban Health/Epidemiology Research Group (OSUBH/GPE), Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
    2. Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, School of Medicine, UFMG, Minas Gerais, Brazil
    • School of Medicine, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Av. Alfredo Balena, 190 Office 728, 30130-100, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

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    • Professor, Federal University of Minas Gerais, School of Medicine; Co-coordinator, Belo Horizonte Observatory for Urban Health.

  • Amanda Cristina de Souza Andrade,

    1. Observatory for Urban Health/Epidemiology Research Group (OSUBH/GPE), Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
    2. Postgraduate Program in Health Science, René Rachou Research Center, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
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  • David Vlahov

    1. School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, California
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  • Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.

  • Institution at which the work was performed: Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG).

Abstract

Background

Occupational stress and unhealthy lifestyles are common characteristics of urban workers. The association between health behaviors and job stress of urban Brazilian civil servants was studied.

Methods

A cross-sectional study included 893 workers. Health markers, the dependent variables, were: Fruit/vegetable (FV) and alcohol (A) intake, physical activity (PA), including at work (PAW), smoking (S), BMI ≥ 25 Kg/m2. Occupational stress, assessed by Job Stress Scale-Brazilian version, classified employees into: High-strain, Low-strain, Active, and Passive. Prevalence rates and multivariate Poisson models were adopted.

Results

On average, employees (mean age = 40.2 years; 69.1% female) reported healthy lifestyle factors: FV (56%); PA (59.7%); S (13.3%); however, 49.4% were overweight. Compared to low-strain, high-strain workers reported higher PAW; passive workers lesser PA and higher PAW. After adjusting for socio-demographics and work characteristics, the occupational stress dimensions were no longer associated to health behaviors.

Conclusions

Our results do not support the hypothesis of an effect for occupational stress on urban employees' health behaviors. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:49–57, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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