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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Does workplace health promotion contribute to job stress reduction? Three-year findings from Partnering Healthy@Work

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Lisa Jarman, Angela Martin, Alison Venn, Petr Otahal, Kristy Sanderson
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12889-015-2625-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors have no financial or competing interests in this research.

Authors’ contributions

LJ conceptualised the article, participated in data collection, data management and cleaning and wrote the manuscript. AM and AV helped with interpretation of the results and revised the manuscript. PO advised on data analysis and interpretation and revised the manuscript. KS helped with conceptualisation of the paper, interpretation of the results and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Workplace health promotion (WHP) has been proposed as a preventive intervention for job stress, possibly operating by promoting positive organizational culture or via programs promoting healthy lifestyles. The aim of this study was to investigate whether job stress changed over time in association with the availability of, and/or participation in a comprehensive WHP program (Healthy@Work).


This observational study was conducted in a diverse public sector organization (~28,000 employees). Using a repeated cross-sectional design with models corroborated using a cohort of repeat responders, self-report survey data were collected via a 40 % employee population random sample in 2010 (N = 3406) and 2013 (N = 3228). Outcomes assessed were effort and reward (self-esteem) components of the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) measure of job stress. Exposures were availability of, and participation in, comprehensive WHP. Linear mixed models and Poisson regression were used, with analyses stratified by sex and weighted for non-response.


Higher WHP availability was positively associated with higher perceived self-esteem among women. Women’s mean reward scores increased over time but were not statistically different (p > 0.05) after 3 years. For men, higher WHP participation was associated with lower perceived effort. Men’s mean ERI increased over time. Results were supported in the cohort group.


For women, comprehensive WHP availability contributed to a sense of organizational support, potentially impacting the esteem component of reward. Men with higher WHP participation also benefitted but gains were modest over time and may have been hindered by other work environment factors.
Additional file 1: Figure S1. Mean numbers of available Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) initiatives per department reported through Tasmanian Government audits between 2009 and 2012. (PDF 77 kb)
Additional file 2: Figure S2. Question items used in the 2013 Partnering Healthy@Work survey to calculate workplace health promotion exposures for availability and participation. (PDF 171 kb)
Additional file 3: Figure S3. Flowchart showing sampling and responses to the Partnering Healthy@Work surveys as at November 2014. (PDF 94 kb)
Additional file 4: Table S1. Comparisons of respondents and non-respondents for Partnering Healthy@Work surveys in 2010 and 2013 by age, tenure, employment condition and employment category, stratified by sex. (PDF 56 kb)
Additional file 5: Table S2. Cohort characteristics for the 2010 and 2013 Partnering Healthy@Work surveys. (PDF 59 kb)
Additional file 6: Table S3. Ratios of mean reported availability of and participation in Healthy@Work initiatives in 2013 relative to 2010. (PDF 69 kb)
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