Public health, Health promotion, Employment, Lifestyle, Occupational health
Little is known about the association between positive job characteristics of older workers and the co-occurrence of protective health behaviours. This study aims to investigate the association between perceived psychosocial job characteristics and the adoption of protective health behaviours. A population-based cross-sectional study was performed on a sample of 1025 males and females (age-range 50–69-years) attending a primary healthcare clinic. Perceived job characteristics (job demands: quantitative and cognitive demands; resources: possibility for development and influence at work) were determined using the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire. Each scale is presented in tertiles. Protective health behaviours were; consumption of five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day, moderate alcohol, non/ex-smoker, and high and moderate physical activity. Each participant was scored 0–4 protective health behaviours. The majority of the sample had three protective health behaviours. Higher levels of influence at work and cognitive demands were associated with higher self-reported physical activity, but not with any number of protective health behaviours. Conversely, higher quantitative and higher cognitive demands were associated with reporting any number of protective health behaviours or above average number of protective health behaviours respectively. The findings on protective health behaviours were inconsistent in relation to the different measures of perceived psychosocial job characteristics and were largely confined to physical activity and diet.