Job characteristics and off-job activities as predictors of need for recovery, well-being, and fatigue

J Appl Psychol. 2006 Mar;91(2):330-50. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.91.2.330.


Two empirical studies examined need for recovery (i.e., a person's desire to be temporarily relieved from demands in order to restore his or her resources) as a mediator in the relationship between poor job characteristics (high job demands, low job control) and high off-job demands, on the one hand, and fatigue and poor individual well-being, on the other hand. Multilevel data from a daily survey study in the health service sector (Study 1) showed that high job demands, low job control, and unfavorable off-job activities predicted a high need for recovery. Need for recovery in turn was negatively related to individual well-being. A large-scale survey with a representative sample of the Dutch working population (Study 2) confirmed these findings for fatigue. In both studies, need for recovery mediated the effects of job characteristics and off-job activities on fatigue and poor well-being, respectively.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Convalescence*
  • Employment*
  • Fatigue / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires