Understanding Worker Well-Being Relative to High-Workload and Recovery Activities across a Whole Day: Pilot Testing an Ecological Momentary Assessment Technique

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Oct 1;18(19):10354. doi: 10.3390/ijerph181910354.


Occupational health and safety is experiencing a paradigm shift from focusing only on health at the workplace toward a holistic approach and worker well-being framework that considers both work and non-work factors. Aligned with this shift, the purpose of this pilot study was to examine how, within a person, frequencies of high-workload and recovery activities from both work and non-work periods were associated with same day well-being measures. We analyzed data on 45 workers with type 1 diabetes from whom we collected activity data 5-6 times daily over 14 days. More frequent engagement in high-workload activities was associated with lower well-being on multiple measures including higher stress. Conversely, greater recovery activity frequency was mostly associated with higher well-being indicated by lower stress and higher positive affect. Overall, our results provide preliminary validity evidence for measures of high-workload and recovery activity exposure covering both work and non-work periods that can inform and support evaluations of worker well-being.

Keywords: ecological momentary assessment; future of work; healthy work design and well-being; recovery; type 1 diabetes; workload; workweek.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Ecological Momentary Assessment
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Workload*
  • Workplace