Perceived job stress and health complaints at a bank call center: comparison between inbound and outbound services

Ind Health. 2010;48(3):349-56. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.48.349.


This study investigated how perceived job stress and health status differ, as well as the relationships to inbound (incoming calls) versus outbound (outgoing calls) calling activities, for call center workers in a bank in Taiwan. The sample bank employed 289 call center workers at the time of the survey, ranging in age from 19 to 54 yr old. Data were obtained on individual factors, health complaints, perceived level job stress, and major job stressors. Overall, 33.5% of outbound operators and 27.1% of inbound operators reported frequently or always experiencing high stress at work, however, the differences between inbound and outbound operators were insignificant. "Having to deal with difficult customers" was the most frequent job stressor for all workers. Musculoskeletal discomfort, eye strain, and hoarse or sore throat were the most prevalent complaints among call center workers. The relationship between perceived job stress and health complaints indicated that workers who perceived higher job stress had significantly increased risk of multiple health problems, including eye strain, tinnitus, hoarse or sore throat, chronic cough with phlegm, chest tightness, irritable stomach or peptic ulcers, and musculoskeletal discomfort (with odds ratios ranging from 2.13 to 8.24). These analytical results suggest that perceived job stress in the call center profoundly affected worker health. This study identified main types of job stressors requiring further investigation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthenopia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Perception*
  • Pharyngitis / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Young Adult