The role of the work context in multiple wellness outcomes for hospital patient care workers

J Occup Environ Med. 2011 Aug;53(8):899-910. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318226a74a.


Objective: To examine the relationships among low back pain (LBP), inadequate physical activity, and sleep deficiency among patient care workers, and of these outcomes to work context.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of patient care workers (N = 1572, response rate = 79%).

Results: A total of 53% reported LBP, 46%, inadequate physical activity, and 59%, sleep deficiency. Inadequate physical activity and sleep deficiency were associated (P = 0.02), but LBP was not significantly related to either. Increased risk of LBP was significantly related to job demands, harassment at work, decreased supervisor support, and job title. Inadequate physical activity was significantly associated with low decision latitude. Sleep deficiency was significantly related to low supervisor support, harassment at work, low ergonomic practices, people-oriented culture, and job title.

Conclusions: These findings point to shared pathways in the work environment that jointly influence multiple health and well-being outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals*
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Patient Care*
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology*
  • Workforce
  • Young Adult