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Introduction to Consequences

“That ill health is a consequence of the way work is organized has generated a sizeable scientific research literature since the 1970s. Researchers in the field of occupational health and social epidemiology have developed models of psychosocial stressors that measure the complex ways in which the organization of work impacts the health of working populations. The building of a scientific knowledge base around occupational stress highlights the ways in which the “social,” particularly work organization, is related to the prevalence of both physical health problems in working populations (including cardiovascular disease and hypertension) and mental health problems (including psychological distress, anxiety, burnout, and depression). The key measures of work organization related to health include job characteristics such as job strain (the combination of high psychological demands and low decision latitude or control), social support, and effort-reward imbalance; as well as work hours, shift work, and the influence of downsizing, outsourcing, and flexible labor patterns.”

Taken from: Schnall PL, Dobson M, Rosskam E, Editors Unhealthy Work: Causes, Consequences, Cures. Baywood Publishing, 2009.

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