unhealthy work logo, unhealthywork.org

Do You Have Job Strain?

This test can give you a rough indication of how much ‘job strain’ you’re may have at work. The test was adapted by us from The Job Content Questionnaire developed by researcher Robert Karasek, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

Answer yes or no:


I have to work very hard ________
I am asked to do an excessive amount of work ________
I do not have enough time to get my work done ________


I do not have to do a lot of repetitive work ________
I have (a job which allows me) to be creative ________
I have (a job which allows me) to learn new things ________
I have a lot of say about what happens ________
I have a lot of freedom to decide how I do my work ________

Social Support

I work with helpful people ________
I work with people who take a personal interest in me ________
My supervisor is helpful ________
My supervisor is concerned about my welfare ________

Scoring: Calculate a separate score for each of the three parts – demand, control, and social support. In each part, give yourself one point for every “yes answer. Then write in the word that describes each of those scores.

Demand score: My job demands are __________. Write “low” if your score was 0 or 1; “high if your score was 2 or 3.

Control score: My control at work is __________. Write “low” if you scored 0 to 2; “high” if you scored 3 to 5.

Social-support score: My social support at work is __________. Write “low if your scored 0 or 1; “moderate” if 2; “high” if 3 or 4.

Interpretation: ‘Job strain’ is defined by the combination of high demands, low control, and low social support. The more of each of these factors that you face at work – and the more extreme your score on each factor – the greater your ‘job strain’. Jobs where you experience all three features are generally high job strain, while jobs with two such features generate moderately high job strain. Those with only one factor may be moderate or moderately low in job strain, depending on how much the other two scores offset that factor. The jobs with the least job strain combine high control and high social support with moderate demands.

One Response to “Do You Have Job Strain?”

  1. Jason Butler says:

    It’s surprising how much stress I carrying around from work… this helped me realize that and now I can tackle curbing the stress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 Unhealthy Work  |  For more information regarding this site, please contact us