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Handbook of Stress in the Occupations

Edited by Janice Langan-Fox and Cary Cooper

The Handbook of Stress in the Occupations sets a new agenda for stress research and gives fresh impetus to scholars who wish to focus on issues and problems associated with specific jobs, some of which have received little attention in the past.
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Chapter 16: Physical and Psychological Work Strain and Health-Related Coping Strategies Among Men and Women in Various Occupations

Margareta Wandel, Marte K. Råberg Kjøllesdal and Gun Roos


16 Physical and psychological work strain and healthrelated coping strategies among men and women in various occupations Margareta Wandel, Marte K. Råberg Kjøllesdal and Gun Roos INTRODUCTION Health is generally better in the working population than among unemployed (Wilson and Walker, 1993). However, work-related factors can be detrimental to health, both in terms of physical workloads and unhealthy behaviors, which may be unequally distributed in different occupational groups (Karasek et al., 1998). Health behaviors may interact with the working situation in several ways. Work is a place where social relations are built, it is a possible source of prestige, and it gives income and resources to pursue healthy choices. Furthermore, different occupations will vary with regard to work schedule, tasks, physical activity, demands and career patterns (Wandel and Roos, 2005). In addition, experiences at work may impact lifestyle outside work (Devine et al., 2003). Obesity, or weight gain over time, is at least in developed countries most prevalent in lower socioeconomic groups, including those belonging to lower occupational groups (Roskam and Kunst, 2008; Kjollesdal et al., 2010; Sobal and Stunkard, 1989; Ball and Crawford, 2005). The increasing burden of obesity is a global health challenge and a major contributor to the large numbers of people suffering and dying from chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Prevention of overweight and obesity is a key to reducing the burden of T2D and CVD. As change in body weight is principally a function of dietary...

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