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Table 3 Associations of various job characteristics and working conditions with different health outcomes

From: The social gradient in work and health: a cross-sectional study exploring the relationship between working conditions and health inequalities

  Poor self-rated health Limited physical functioning (2–4) Long sickness absence (6+ days/yr) Strong stress feelings (4–5) Increased burnout symptoms (16–24)
  %a aORb %a aORb %a aORb %a aORb %a aORb
Total study population 14.1   9.2   15.5   15.1   6.4  
‘Blue-collar’ job characteristics           
• Poor promotion prospects (57.2%d) 8.9 1 6.4 1 12.7 1 10.0 1 3.4 1
17.6 2.16*** 11.2 1.69** 17.3 1.44** 19.0 2.14*** 8.6 2.79***
• Uniform arm or hand movementsc (49.7%d) 11.3 1 6.5 1 12.7 1 13.8 1 5.5 1
16.9 1.46** 12.0 1.64** 18.4 1.26 16.3 1.32* 7.4 1.48
• Repetitive workc (48.7%d) 10.4 1 5.1 1 12.2 1 14.3 1 5.2 1
17.8 1.66*** 13.4 2.30*** 19.0 1.37* 15.8 1.29 7.8 1.97**
• Painful or tiring posturec (43.5%d) 8.6 1 5.0 1 12.5 1 12.2 1 3.6 1
21.3 2.71*** 14.6 2.96*** 19.2 1.46** 18.8 1.80*** 10.2 3.59***
• Inflexible working hours (41.4%d) 12.3 1 7.4 1 12.0 1 14.7 1 5.8 1
16.6 1.23 11.9 1.29 20.6 1.67** 15.7 1.24 7.4 1.68*
• Carrying heavy loadsc (33.4%d) 12.3 1 7.0 1 13.7 1 14.5 1 5.7 1
17.6 1.41* 13.8 1.76*** 18.9 1.19 16.0 1.29 8.0 1.96**
• Physically demanding job (32.5%d) 11.0 1 7.2 1 13.3 1 14.5 1 5.1 1
20.5 1.94*** 13.5 1.55* 19.8 1.36* 17.1 1.44* 9.4 2.73***
• Monotonous workc (29.3%d) 11.2 1 6.4 1 12.3 1 13.4 1 4.4 1
21.1 2.02*** 16.2 2.57*** 23.3 1.85*** 19.2 1.73*** 11.4 3.66***
• Low job autonomy (21.8%d) 12.7 1 7.7 1 14.0 1 14.4 1 5.7 1
18.0 1.29 14.7 1.53* 20.2 1.37* 17.9 1.49* 9.3 2.29***
‘White-collar’ job characteristics           
• High responsibility (88.4%d) 14.8 1 8.7 1 20.5 1 11.6 1 6.7 1
13.9 1.01 9.1 1.21 14.8 0.82 15.7 1.46 6.4 1.11
• High time pressure (73.3%d) 10.7 1 8.2 1 15.8 1 8.1 1 3.1 1
15.2 1.70** 9.4 1.37 15.4 1.14 17.9 2.50*** 7.7 2.54***
• Frequent interruptions (59.9%d) 14.8 1 10.4 1 17.2 1 9.3 1 3.0 1
13.5 1.06 8.5 1.04 14.2 0.98 19.1 2.24*** 8.6 2.88***
• Steadily growing workload (58.3%d) 14.8 1 8.3 1 14.8 1 8.7 1 3.0 1
13.3 0.91 10.0 1.33 15.9 1.19 19.8 2.68*** 8.9 3.29***
• Regular overtime (33.3%d) 13.7 1 10.4 1 16.8 1 12.1 1 4.8 1
14.3 1.35 6.9 1.04 12.6 0.91 21.3 1.94*** 9.6 1.94**
• Low social support (20.8%d) 12.1 1 8.8 1 14.8 1 11.0 1 3.6 1
20.6 1.99*** 10.6 1.34 17.2 1.26 29.4 3.24*** 16.6 5.14***
• Status inconsistency (18.7%d) 12.6 1 8.6 1 15.1 1 13.8 1 5.1 1
20.1 1.93*** 10.6 1.51* 15.9 1.14 20.4 1.54** 12.4 2.54***
• Job insecurity (17.5%d) 12.3 1 9.0 1 13.6 1 13.5 1 5.3 1
21.0 1.99*** 9.7 1.23 22.8 1.97*** 22.3 1.85*** 11.9 2.46***
• Work time changes at short notice (15.3%d) 13.9 1 9.8 1 15.3 1 13.6 1 5.4 1
14.6 1.24 6.8 1.04 15.2 1.20 23.7 1.88*** 12.1 2.28***
• Poor work-life compatibility (15.2%d) 12.8 1 8.7 1 14.5 1 12.2 1 4.1 1
20.9 2.05*** 12.0 1.77** 20.8 1.82*** 31.4 3.43*** 19.9 6.64***
  1. *p≤.05; **p<.01; ***p<.001.
  2. a Prevalence rates regarding health outcome of characterised group (lower percentage) and reference group (upper percentage).
  3. b OR adjusted for sex, age and education (with those not exposed and not working under such condition as reference group).
  4. c Applies partly, largely or fully to the job situation.
  5. d Frequency of job characteristic in the study sample.
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