Purpose – The aim of this paper is to investigate which work‐ and private life factors are associated with long‐term health, operationalized as low sickness absence and low sickness presence. Design/methodology/approach – A representative sample of 2,297 individuals responded to a questionnaire on two occasions at an interval of one year. In total, 28 percent were classified as having good long‐term health. Findings – Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that some quality‐related work environment factors were rather strongly associated with long‐term health. For some variables women showed a clear dose‐response pattern on the three‐level scale alternatives in relation to health, while men had a more asymmetric response pattern. The results are discussed in relation to the symmetry in the work environment factors, i.e. if there are different factors that explain health and illness. Practical implications – Issues concerning health and health‐enhancing factors are of considerable interest to practitioners concerned with management issues, organizational structure, and rehabilitation. Originality/value – The paper shows the importance of including a positive health variable within the health research paradigm to supplement the dominance of variables focusing on illness and disease.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 29, 2010
Keywords: Sick leave; Personal health; Lifestyles; Gender; Workplace; Sweden