Association between job characteristics and health behaviors in Japanese rural workers

Int J Behav Med. 2003;10(2):125-42. doi: 10.1207/s15327558ijbm1002_03.


Associations between job characteristics defined by the Karasek's job demand-control model and health behaviors were investigated in a cross-sectional analysis of 6,759 Japanese rural workers. High psychological demands were associated with heavy smoking, exaggerated prevalence of alcohol drinking, and high work-related physical activity. Low job control was associated with lower consumption of vegetables, a smaller quantity number of cigarettes smoked, and a low level of work-related physical activity. Job strain, a combined measure obtained from the ratio of demands to control, was associated with lower vegetable consumption, low prevalence of smoking, and high prevalence of current alcohol drinking. Stratified analyses by occupations and gender provided some but not all of the explanations for the unexpected findings. The results indicate a possible association between psychosocial job characteristics and health behaviors. A few unexpected findings prevent complete support to one of the hypothetical pathways that the job characteristics lead to cardiovascular disease through behaviors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Job Description*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology