Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine

, 14:319

Common risk factors for changes in body weight and psychological well-being in Japanese male middle-aged workers

  • Takiko Sagara
  • Yoshiaki Hitomi
  • Yasuhiro Kambayashi
  • Yuri Hibino
  • Ichiyo Matsuzaki
  • Shinichiro Sasahara
  • Keiki Ogino
  • Kotaro Hatta
  • Hiroyuki Nakamura
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12199-009-0100-2

Cite this article as:
Sagara, T., Hitomi, Y., Kambayashi, Y. et al. Environ Health Prev Med (2009) 14: 319. doi:10.1007/s12199-009-0100-2

Abstract

Objectives

Overweight and poor psychological well-being are becoming serious health issues in the Japanese workplace. Concurrence of those physical and mental conditions has been pointed out, especially in middle-aged workers. Therefore, we tried to determine common risk factors for body weight gain and the deterioration of psychological well-being in male middle-aged office workers using a five-year follow-up study.

Methods

We administered General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) as an indicator of psychological well-being to 110 male workers with ages ranging from 40–59 years, and analyzed the influence of several psychological factors, namely sense of coherence (SOC), health locus of control (HLC), and lifestyle variables such as exercise frequency, alcohol intake, smoking status, and dietary intake on changes of body mass index and GHQ-12 score.

Results

McNemar’s chi-squared test showed significant concurrence of weight gain and deterioration of psychological well-being after five-year follow-up. Low-SOC score, low frequency of exercise, and high-dietary intake at supper were significantly associated with both weight gain and poorer psychological well-being in workers, results which were supported by multiple regression analysis.

Conclusions

These results suggest that exercise and calorie restriction seem to prevent weight gain and promote psychological well-being in workers. Low SOC, which implies difficulty in coping with stress, may be an important risk factor not only for deterioration of psychological well-being but also for becoming overweight. These assumptions must be confirmed by conducting future intervention studies on SOC and lifestyle including exercise and eating behavior.

Keywords

Body weightExerciseDietGeneral Health Questionnaire-12Sense of coherenceWorkers

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Hygiene 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takiko Sagara
    • 1
  • Yoshiaki Hitomi
    • 1
  • Yasuhiro Kambayashi
    • 1
  • Yuri Hibino
    • 1
  • Ichiyo Matsuzaki
    • 2
  • Shinichiro Sasahara
    • 2
  • Keiki Ogino
    • 3
  • Kotaro Hatta
    • 4
  • Hiroyuki Nakamura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Graduate School of Medical ScienceKanazawa UniversityKanazawaJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Community MedicineUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Public HealthOkayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical SciencesOkayamaJapan
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryJuntendo University School of MedicineTokyoJapan