Gender perspective in the analysis of the relationship between long workhours, health and health-related behavior

Lucía Artazcoz, Imma Cortès, Carme Borrell, Vicenta Escribà-Agüir, Lorena Cascant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objective of this study was to analyze gender differences in the impact of long workhours (>40 hours per week) on a variety of health outcomes and health-related behavior. Methods: The sample included all salaried contract workers aged 16-64 years (1658 men and 1134 women) and interviewed in the 2002 Catalonian Health Survey. Results: Whereas the men with a high job status were more likely to work >40 hours a week, long workhours were associated with situations of vulnerability (low job status and being separated or divorced) among the women. For both genders, working >40 hours was related to a shortage of sleep [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.54, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.21-1.98, for the men and aOR 1.63, 95% CI 1.11-2.38, for the women]. Among the women, long workhours were also associated with poor mental health status (aOR 1.58, 95% CI 104-2.40), hypertension (aOR 2.25, 95% CI 1.17-4.32), job dissatisfaction (aOR 1.77, 95% CI 1.08-2.90), and smoking (aOR 1.71, 95% CI 1.22-2.39). In addition, among the women working more hours at home, long workhours were related to sedentary leisure time activity (aOR 1.98, 95% CI 1.06-3.71). Conclusions: The relationship between long workhours and health and health-related behavior was found to be directly related to long worktime and indirectly related to long exposure to poor work conditions among the women and, to a less extent, to domestic work. The pathways that explain the relationship between long work-hours and health and health-related behavior seems to depend on the outcome being analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-350
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Hypertension
  • Mental health
  • Physical activity
  • Sleep
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Toxicology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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