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Working conditions, compensatory strategies, and recovery
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The general aim of this thesis was to study and identify working conditions related to different types of compensatory strategies and to examine the relations between such strategies and recovery. Compensatory strategies refer to how people act in order to handle a great amount of work. Intensifying work within the given time frame, paid and unpaid overtime, working when sick, and use of vacation instead of sick leave are examples of such strategies. These strategies are not focused on changing the relation to work, but on working harder and more. Compensatory strategies reduce the individual’s opportunities for recovery, which may be a health risk. The aim of Study I was to investigate recuperation among teachers. Based on cluster analysis, twenty percent of the teachers were classified as non-recuperated. That group also had more ill-health symptoms and higher sickness presence than the other teachers. Failure to recuperate was related to aspects of the classroom, but not to more general organizational circumstances. The aim of Study II was to investigate how common it was for employees to use vacation instead of sick leave, and how common it was for people not to be rested after vacation. Fourteen percent of the study group (n=2536) had taken vacation leave instead of sick leave, and 15 percent reported not being recuperated upon returning to work after several weeks leave. Personal financial situation is a contributory factor, but there is also a strong correlation with the way work is organized. The aim of Study III was to identify the determinants of sickness presence. For any given level of health status, there were personal- and work-related demands (replaceability, sufficient resources, conflicting demands, control, time pressure) that influenced the level of sickness presence. The aim of Study IV was to validate questions on unwinding and recuperation by investigating their relationships with cortisol output. High levels of morning cortisol were significantly related to subjective ratings of recuperation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Psykologiska institutionen , 2008. , 45 p.
Keyword [en]
recovery, compensatory strategies, working conditions, self-ratings, vacation, validation, sickness presenteeism, sickness absence, work organization, health, allostatic load
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7266ISBN: 978-91-7155-553-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-7266DiVA: diva2:197949
Public defence
2008-02-01, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-01-10 Created: 2007-12-14Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Unwinding, recuperation, and health among compulsory school and high school teachers in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unwinding, recuperation, and health among compulsory school and high school teachers in Sweden
2003 In: International Journal of Stress Management, ISSN 1072-5245, Vol. 10, no 3, 217-234 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24621 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7266Available from: 2008-01-10 Created: 2007-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Vacation-still an issue of workers’ protection?: An empirical study of vacation and recuperation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vacation-still an issue of workers’ protection?: An empirical study of vacation and recuperation
2005 In: International Journal of Health Services, ISSN 0020-7314, Vol. 35, 143-169 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24622 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7266Available from: 2008-01-10 Created: 2007-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Sickness presenteeism: prevalence, attendance-pressure factors, and an outline of a model for research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sickness presenteeism: prevalence, attendance-pressure factors, and an outline of a model for research
2005 In: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, ISSN 1076-2752, Vol. 47, no 9, 958-966 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24623 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7266Available from: 2008-01-10 Created: 2007-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Relationships between self-rating of recovery from work and morning salivary cortisol
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Relationships between self-rating of recovery from work and morning salivary cortisol
2008 (English)In: Journal of Occupational Health, ISSN 1341-9145, Vol. 50, no 1, 24-30 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To date, the understanding of how recovery from work relates to cortisol output is poor. Considering this, the present study set out to investigate the associations between self-ratings of 15 items of rest and recovery and salivary cortisol sampled every second hour across two working days. Data came from 12 female and 13 male white-collar workers and were analyzed by linear regression analyses and repeated measures ANOVA. Poor rest and recovery was associated with high levels of morning cortisol, with the strongest relationships emerging for "rested in the morning", "rested after a weekend", "feel energetic during the working day", "tired during the working day", "sufficient sleep" and "worry about something". Moreover, significant interaction effects emerged between sex and "rested after a weekend" and "worry about something". To conclude, the findings show that self-ratings of rest and recovery are related to cortisol, particularly to morning cortisol, and that self-ratings provide important information on physiological recovery in terms of cortisol output.

Keyword
Recovery, Self-ratings, Salivary cortisol, Allostatic load
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24624 (URN)10.1539/joh.50.24 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-01-10 Created: 2007-12-14 Last updated: 2011-05-19Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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