Presentation T O10

T O10 (Oral Presentation):
Obesity and work functioning: do working-time arrangements matter?

Presented by: Yeshambel T. Nigatu

Download PDF


Nigatu YT1, van de Ven HA1, Reijneveld SA1, Brouwer S1, van der Klink JJL1, Bültmann U1

  1. Department of Health Sciences, Division of Community and Occupational Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands



Obesity is one of the major public health challenges of the 21st century. Obesity is associated with increased sickness absence from work, but little is known about the relationship with functioning at work. The aim of this study was to examine the association of obesity with work functioning (WF), and to determine if the association differs for workers with different working-time arrangements.


A cross-sectional study was conducted within the sampling frame of the ‘Shift Your Work’ project. We included N=622 Dutch employees with a mean age (standard deviation) of 44.7 (9.1) years, of which N= 384 (62%) were shift workers, N=171 (27%) on-call workers and N=67 (11%) day workers. Obesity was defined as BMI ≥ 30. WF (total and subscales of physical, output, mental-interpersonal and work scheduling demands) was assessed using the Work Role Functioning Questionnaire (WRFQ). Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to examine the association of obesity with WF, adjusted for age, education, smoking, exercise, alcohol, job support and work-family interference.


The prevalence of obesity was 10% in the total sample, 11% in shift workers, 10% in on-call workers, and 6% in day workers. In the total sample, obesity was associated with lower WF scores for physical demands (β=-8.4, p<0.05). In shift-workers, obesity was associated with lower WF scores for output and physical demands (β=-7.9, p<0.05) and (β=-9.8, p<0.05), respectively. In day and on-call workers, obesity was not associated with total WF or WF subscales.


Obesity is prevalent in the working population. It is associated with work functioning in shift workers, but not in day and on-call workers. Further prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Schedule Details

Tuesday September 30
10:45 - 12:15 Morning Concurrent Sessions (T O1 - T O12 and Seminar 4)
Session: Work disability in ageing workers
Room A