Concept: Occupational health psychology
The jobs of Latino manual laborers place their mental and physical health at risk. This study evaluates the associations among musculoskeletal pain, mental health, and work organization in Latino manual laborers. Farmworkers and non-farmworkers (n = 189) in North Carolina were interviewed for self-reported musculoskeletal pain, depressive symptoms, stress, work safety climate, and precarious job status. More non-farmworkers than farmworkers had neck and shoulder pain, but they did not differ in other areas of musculoskeletal pain. Depressive symptoms had a significant association with neck and shoulder pain (p<0.05). Precariousness had a significant association with back pain (p<0.05). Farmworker participants had H-2A visas and were afforded some protection compared to non-farmworker manual workers. Research is needed to improve policy that relieves pain and improves mental health for all Latino manual workers.
Collaborative efforts between the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) led to a report focusing on overlapping occupational vulnerabilities, specifically small construction businesses employing young, non-native workers. Following the report, an online survey was conducted by ASSE with construction business representatives focusing on training experiences of non-native workers. Results were grouped by business size (50 or fewer employees or more than 50 employees). Smaller businesses were less likely to employ a supervisor who speaks the same language as immigrant workers (p < .001). Non-native workers in small businesses received fewer hours of both initial safety training (p = .005) and monthly ongoing safety training (p = .042). Immigrant workers in smaller businesses were less likely to receive every type of safety training identified in the survey (including pre-work safety orientation [p < .001], job-specific training [p < .001], OSHA 10-hour training [p = .001], and federal/state required training [p < .001]). The results highlight some of the challenges a vulnerable worker population faces in a small business, and can be used to better focus intervention efforts. Among businesses represented in this sample, there are deflcits in the amount, frequency, and format of workplace safety and health training provided to non-native workers in smaller construction businesses compared to those in larger businesses. The types of training conducted for non-native workers in small business were less likely to take into account the language and literacy issues faced by these workers. The findings suggest the need for a targeted approach in providing occupational safety and health training to non-native workers employed by smaller construction businesses.
A growing number of empirical studies have revealed that diaphragmatic breathing may trigger body relaxation responses and benefit both physical and mental health. However, the specific benefits of diaphragmatic breathing on mental health remain largely unknown. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of diaphragmatic breathing on cognition, affect, and cortisol responses to stress. Forty participants were randomly assigned to either a breathing intervention group (BIG) or a control group (CG). The BIG received intensive training for 20 sessions, implemented over 8 weeks, employing a real-time feedback device, and an average respiratory rate of 4 breaths/min, while the CG did not receive this treatment. All participants completed pre- and post-tests of sustained attention and affect. Additionally, pre-test and post-test salivary cortisol concentrations were determined in both groups. The findings suggested that the BIG showed a significant decrease in negative affect after intervention, compared to baseline. In the diaphragmatic breathing condition, there was a significant interaction effect of group by time on sustained attention, whereby the BIG showed significantly increased sustained attention after training, compared to baseline. There was a significant interaction effect of group and time in the diaphragmatic breathing condition on cortisol levels, whereby the BIG had a significantly lower cortisol level after training, while the CG showed no significant change in cortisol levels. In conclusion, diaphragmatic breathing could improve sustained attention, affect, and cortisol levels. This study provided evidence demonstrating the effect of diaphragmatic breathing, a mind-body practice, on mental function, from a health psychology approach, which has important implications for health promotion in healthy individuals.
Feeding wildlife is a very popular tourist activity, largely because it facilitates the close observation of animals in their natural habitat. Such provisioning may benefit animals by improving their survival and reproductive success, especially during periods of natural food shortage. However, provisioning by tourists may also have negative impacts on the health of the animals involved; to date such impacts are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the effects of tourist provisioning on the health of wild adult Barbary macaques, Macaca sylvanus, in Morocco. We compared health measures between a heavily provisioned group and a group that received negligible food from tourists and, in the former group, we also assessed health measures in relation to the intensity of provisioning. We used a broad range of non-invasive health measures relating to birth rate and survival, disease and injury risk, body size and condition, and physiological stress. Our findings indicate that feeding by tourists may overall have negative impacts on the health of Barbary macaques, being linked in particular to larger body size, elevated stress levels and more alopecia. Finally, we propose a framework to help consider the potential costs and benefits of provisioning, which may facilitate future research and management decisions on whether-and how much-provisioning is acceptable.
Telomeres protect the chromosome ends from degradation and play crucial roles in cellular aging and disease. Recent studies have additionally found a correlation between psychological stress, telomere length, and health outcome in humans. However, studies have not yet explored the causal relationship between stress and telomere length, or the molecular mechanisms underlying that relationship. Using yeast as a model organism, we show that stresses may have very different outcomes: alcohol and acetic acid elongate telomeres, whereas caffeine and high temperatures shorten telomeres. Additional treatments, such as oxidative stress, show no effect. By combining genome-wide expression measurements with a systematic genetic screen, we identify the Rap1/Rif1 pathway as the central mediator of the telomeric response to environmental signals. These results demonstrate that telomere length can be manipulated, and that a carefully regulated homeostasis may become markedly deregulated in opposing directions in response to different environmental cues.
Background Work-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an important condition encountered by many occupational health practitioners. Aims To carry out an in-depth review of the research on occupational groups that are at particular risk of developing work-related PTSD. Methods A literature search was conducted in the databases OVID MEDLINE, OVID Embase, Ovid PsycINFO, ISI Web of Science and CSA Health and Safety Science Abstracts. Results Professionals such as police officers, firefighters and ambulance personnel often experience incidents that satisfy the stressor criterion for the PTSD diagnosis. Other professional groups such as health care professionals, train drivers, divers, journalists, sailors and employees in bank, post offices or in stores may also be subjected to work-related traumatic events. Work-related PTSD usually diminishes with time. Conclusions Mental health problems prior to the traumatic event and weak social support increase the risk of PTSD. Prevention of work-related PTSD includes a sound organizational and psychosocial work environment, systematic training of employees, social support from colleagues and managers and a proper follow-up of employees after a critical event.
Repeated exposure to occupational ergonomic hazards, such as frequent exertion (repetitive bending or twisting) and frequent standing, can lead to injuries, most commonly musculoskeletal disorders (1). Work-related musculoskeletal disorders have been estimated to cost the United States approximately $2.6 billion in annual direct and indirect costs (2). A recent literature review provided evidence that prolonged standing at work also leads to adverse health outcomes, such as back pain, physical fatigue, and muscle pain (3). To determine which industry and occupation groups currently have the highest prevalence rates of frequent exertion at work and frequent standing at work, CDC analyzed data from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Occupational Health Supplement (OHS) regarding currently employed adults in the United States. By industry, the highest prevalence of both frequent exertion and frequent standing at work was among those in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry group (70.9%); by occupation, the highest prevalence was among those in the construction and extraction occupation group (76.9%). Large differences among industry and occupation groups were found with regard to these ergonomic hazards, suggesting a need for targeted interventions designed to reduce workplace exposure.
The objectives were to identify work-related stress, and to analyse whether or not work-related stress served to predict sick-leave in a population of employed women who saw a doctor due to musculoskeletal or mental disorder at primary health care centres.
Workplace stress within health care settings is rampant and predicted to increase in coming years. The profound effects of workplace stress on the health and safety of nursing personnel and the financial impact on organizations are well documented. Although organizational modification can reduce some sources of stress, several unique stress-producing factors inherent in the work of nursing personnel are immutable to such approaches. Mindfulness training, an evidence-based approach to increase situational awareness and positive responses to stressful situations, is an inexpensive strategy to reduce stress and improve the quality of nurses' work lives. Several approaches to training, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction, can be tailored to health care settings. Considerations for occupational health nurses in incorporating mindfulness training as an aspect of a comprehensive work site health promotion program for nursing and other hospital personnel are discussed.
The effect of social trust on citizens’ health risk perception in the context of a petrochemical industrial complex
- International journal of environmental research and public health
- Published almost 8 years ago
Perceived risk of environmental threats often translates into psychological stress with a wide range of effects on health and well-being. Petrochemical industrial complexes constitute one of the sites that can cause considerable pollution and health problems. The uncertainty around emissions results in a perception of risk for citizens residing in neighboring areas, which translates into anxiety and physiological stress. In this context, social trust is a key factor in managing the perceived risk. In the case of industrial risks, it is essential to distinguish between trust in the companies that make up the industry, and trust in public institutions. In the context of a petrochemical industrial complex located in the port of Castellón (Spain), this paper primarily discusses how trust - both in the companies located in the petrochemical complex and in the public institutions - affects citizens' health risk perception. The research findings confirm that while the trust in companies negatively affects citizens' health risk perception, trust in public institutions does not exert a direct and significant effect. Analysis also revealed that trust in public institutions and health risk perception are essentially linked indirectly (through trust in companies).