Influence of overtime work, sleep duration, and perceived job characteristics on the physical and mental status of software engineers

Ind Health. 2005 Oct;43(4):623-9. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.43.623.


To investigate the impact of overtime work, sleep duration, and perceived job characteristics on physical and mental status, a cross-sectional study was conducted on 377 workers (average age; 28 years old) in an information-technology (IT) company, engaged in consultation, system integration solution, and data management relevant to IT system. The psychophysical outcomes of overtime work were assessed using the Hamilton Depression Scale (HDS), Profile of Mood Status (POMS), major physical symptoms, and overtime work data for the preceding three-months. Sleep duration was directly asked by a physician. A job strain index was defined as the ratio of job-demands to job-control scores evaluated using the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ). In a univariate analysis, overtime work was significantly related with HDS scores, POMS anger-hostility scores, and the total physical symptom count in both sexes (all p < 0.05), but not in multiple regression models, after controlling for sleep duration and the job strain index. Sleep duration was negatively related to the symptom count in men and to POMS tension-anxiety scores in women (both p < 0.05); the job strain index was positively related to POMS anger-hostility scores in both sexes and to HDS scores and POMS tension-anxiety scores in men (all p < 0.05). Although overtime work was associated with physical and mental complaints, sleep duration and the job strain index seemed to be better indicators for physical and mental distress in overloaded workers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Job Description
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Sleep*
  • Software*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Work Schedule Tolerance*
  • Workload / psychology*