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Work intensity and workers’ sleep: A case of working Australians

Sai Lyons, Lyndall Strazdins and Tinh Doan
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Sai Lyons: Australian National University
Lyndall Strazdins: Australian National University

Palgrave Communications, 2022, vol. 9, issue 1, 1-7

Abstract: Abstract Experiencing poor sleep quality affects an individual’s health and wellbeing. Sleep quality is well evidenced to be influenced by work conditions such as long work hours, work stress and shift work, but there is little evidence on the relationship between high work intensity and sleep quality. Using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey waves 2013 and 2017, this study applies lagged models to investigate whether experiencing poor sleep, a derived comprehensive measure of sleep quality, is associated with work intensity. This study uses a nationally representative sample of 13,661 working Australian individuals aged 25–64 and finds a strong positive association between work intensity and sleep quality, with an individual’s sleep quality worsening as their work intensity increased. The association between work intensity and sleep quality is even stronger than that between long work hours and sleep quality. This suggests a potential benefit for the development and implementation of workplace policies that seek to reduce work intensity. Doing so could help address challenges surrounding sleep in Australia and lead to better work and health outcomes for individuals, workplaces and broader society.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1057/s41599-022-01410-2

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