A qualitative investigation of employees’ perceptions of the impact of work on health behaviours

Payne, Nicola, Jones, F. and Harris, P. (2011) A qualitative investigation of employees’ perceptions of the impact of work on health behaviours. In: BPS Division of Occupational Psychology Conference 2011: Creating value through occupational psychology, 12-14 Jan 2011, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.

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Abstract

Research shows that work stress generally has a negative impact on health behaviours. However, most of the research in this area is quantitative and focuses on a narrow range of work factors. The present research aimed to provide a more complete picture of the disruptive and/or facilitative impact of work on health behaviours by asking employees about their experiences of four behaviours; smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise and eating. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 24 employees of an information technology company. Four main themes were identified from a thematic analysis. Individuals perceived that being busy at work led to a shortage of time for healthy behaviour, but had a positive impact on smoking. Business events such as lunches and travel were seen as disrupting employees’ routines and changed the availability of factors that facilitate healthy behaviour. The work environment, for example, corporate gym membership and no smoking policy, was perceived as promoting healthy behaviour. However, a lack of availability of healthy food or on-site exercise facilities was unhelpful. Work stress was associated with health behaviours being used as a coping response, which in the case of exercise, may be considered an adaptive response. These findings have implications for worksite health promotion.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 11104
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Depositing User: Nicola Payne
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2013 12:40
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:27
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/11104

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