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UofL study links stressful work culture and health risks

From left to right, UofL researchers Joy Hart, Kandi Walker, Brad Shuck, and Rachel Keith formed a team that demonstrated links between determinants of health work and biomarkers of chronic disease risk. I’m here. (UofL photo)

Louisville, Kentucky — With employee burnout high and mass retirement felt across all employment sectors, a pioneering new study from the University of Louisville shows a biological link between workplace culture and human health.

The UofL study identified biomarkers of chronic disease risk by assessing stress, an employee’s ability to perform an assigned task, the physical and social culture of the workplace, and whether the work is seen as meaningful to those who do it. It is believed to be the first study to link such factors as whether The survey results are International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

These factors are part of the new “Work Determinants of Health” concept identified by UofL researchers, and serve as a model for both employers and employees to better understand the impact of workplace culture on health. I hope to become

“We have long believed that workplace culture influences health,” says study author Brad Shuck, an organizational culture researcher in the UofL School of Education and Human Development. “This study shows that, from a biological perspective, the assumptions are true, and that a better understanding of these links can help both employees and employers to keep everyone healthy and happy in their work environment.” It shows that it can help people make better, more informed decisions.”

In this study, researchers at Shuck and UofL’s Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute, Kandi Walker, Joy Hart, and Rachel Keith, asked participants to complete a questionnaire about their health and job determinants. Work environment. Walker and Hart are on faculty at the College of Arts and Sciences, and Keith is on the Faculty of Medicine.

The researchers then compared their findings to biological samples measuring hormones that signal activity in the sympathetic nervous system. Higher than normal levels of these hormones over an extended period of time indicate chronic stress and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic health conditions.

As a result, participants who reported higher wellbeing, higher engagement, and positive feelings about work culture had lower levels of these stress-related hormones, lower wellbeing, isolation, and reported negative feelings about work. participants who did the opposite were found to be the opposite.

“A small amount of short-term stress is fine and can even help you complete an important project or solve a major crisis,” Keith says. puts us under constant stress, this research suggests that it can affect our health and long-term risk of chronic disease.

Stress and related burnout remain the leading cause of employee turnover, especially among younger workers. A recent survey by Deloitte found that about 46% of Gen Z and his 45% of millennial workers reported feeling tired in their work environment. Stress can have a negative impact on employee health, as UofL research suggests, but a significant number of Generation Z and millennials report wanting to quit their jobs within the next two years. As you can see, it can also affect employee retention. Shook said better understanding of the work determinants that influence health could help reduce burnout and improve both employee retention and health.

“It is good for everyone to understand these cultural factors and what contributes to employee health and engagement in the work environment,” he said. “By understanding the determinants of health work, we can create better, healthier work environments and attract and retain the top talent we want to engage with.”