We investigated relationships between the perception of organizational climate with gender equity and psychological health among 94 women and 211 men in a Japanese private university in 2015 using the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (i.e., personal, work-related and student-related burnout). Perceptions of organizational climate with respect to gender equity were measured with two scales including organizational engagement with a gender equal society in the workplace (consisting of three domains of ‘Women utilization', ‘Organizational promotion of gender equal society' and ‘Consultation service'); and a gender inequality in academia scale that had been previously developed. Multivariable linear models demonstrated significant statistical interactions between gender and perceptions of organizational climate; ‘Women utilization' or lack of ‘Inequality in academia' alleviated burnout only in women. In consequence of this gender difference, when ‘Women utilization' was at a lower level, both personal (p=.038) and work-related (p=.010) burnout scores were higher in women, and the student-related burnout score was lower in women when they perceived less inequality in academia than in men (p=.030). As such, it is suggested organizational fairness for gender equity may be a useful tool to help mitigate psychological burnout among women in academia.
Child health checkups are an important public service to support children's development; however, many children do not attend all the child health checkups that are required by maternal and child health law (i.e., at 1 month, 4 months, 1 and a half years, and 3 years of age). This study aimed to identify social and household factors influencing child health checkup attendance. We used data from a longitudinal household panel study in Japan. The total number of subjects was 2,612 children. We extracted numerous social variables reflecting childcare and conducted logistic regression analyses. In every health checkup, the attendance rate was significantly lower for children whose birth order was 3rd or later. Children whose father graduated from a 4-year college or whose mother had 5 or more communicating neighbors were significantly more likely to attend the 1-and-a-half-year checkup. Children whose maternal annual income was in the middle range (1.5 to 5.0 million yen) tended not to attend checkups after 1 and a half years of age. We concluded that the later birth order was the factor of non-attendance. On the other hand, high paternal educational attainment and many communicating neighbors were identified as the factors of attendance.
This study explored the effect of workplace psychosocial factors (job demand, job control, and workplace social support) on dual-earner couples in Japan having additional children, using a prospective study design. We conducted a 2-year prospective cohort study with 103 dual-earner couples with preschool children in Japan, as part of the Tokyo Work–Family Interface Study II. We used multivariable logistic regression analyses to evaluate the prospective association of job strain (categorized into low-strain job, active job, passive job, and strain job groups) and workplace social support (high and low) with couples having additional children during the follow-up period, adjusting for age, for men and women separately. Men in the active job group (i.e., with high job demands and high job control) had a significantly higher odds ratio (OR) of having additional children during the follow-up period, after controlling for age (OR 9.07, 95% confidence interval: 1.27–64.85). No significant association between any workplace psychosocial factor and having additional children was confirmed among women. Having an active job may have a positive influence on having additional children among men in dual-earner couples.
Data are limited on the sex-specific prevalence of diseases and their risk factors in middle-aged and older workers in Japan. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated the age- and sex-specific prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome (defined using joint statement criteria), obesity, underweight, abdominal obesity, and smoking among approximately 70,000 to 90,000 Japanese workers (predominantly men) aged 20–69 years in 2014. We also investigated the prevalence of low cardiorespiratory fitness in 2012 and no leisure-time exercise in 2014. In both sexes, the prevalence of lifestyle-related risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and abdominal obesity, was increased with aging. In contrast, the prevalence of underweight was decreased with aging. Smoking prevalence exceeded 30% in men regardless of age, whereas the prevalence was around 10% in women of all age groups. Prevalence of no leisure-time exercise exceeded 50% among middle-aged and older workers in both sexes. Among workers aged 50–64 years, less than half of men had low fitness, whereas more than half of women had low fitness. Given the high prevalence of lifestyle-related risk factors among middle-aged and older workers, effective strategies to prevent cardiovascular disease in this age group are needed in Japan.
This study aimed to examine the effects of parity and pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) on low birth weight (LBW) infants among Japanese women. Participants included 1,518 mothers (mean age 34.0 years) of singleton full-term infants in 2011. The incidence of LBW infants was 7.5% in primiparous women with BMI<18.5 (Group A; n=239), 4.0% in multiparous women with BMI<18.5 (Group B; n=124), 6.0% in primiparous women with 18.5≤BMI<25 (Group C; n=715), and 1.8% in multiparous women with 18.5≤BMI<25 (Group D; n=440). A multivariable logistic regression model revealed that mothers in Group A were more likely to deliver a LBW infant [odds ratio (OR) 6.41, 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.65–15.49] than were mothers in Group D. Being both underweight (OR 1.8, 95% CI: 1.05–3.11) and primiparous (OR 3.41, 95% CI: 1.82–6.44) were independently associated with LBW infants. This study demonstrated that the characteristics of primiparous and underweight in mothers are additively associated with LBW infants.
The participation of women in the Japanese labor force is characterized by its M-shaped curve, which reflects decreased employment rates during child-rearing years. Although, this M-shaped curve is now improving, the majority of women in employment are likely to fall into the category of non-regular workers. Based on a review of the previous Japanese studies of the health of non-regular workers, we found that non-regular female workers experienced greater psychological distress, poorer self-rated health, a higher smoking rate, and less access to preventive medicine than regular workers did. However, despite the large number of non-regular workers, there are limited researches regarding their health. In contrast, several studies in Japan concluded that regular workers also had worse health conditions due to the additional responsibility and longer work hours associated with the job, housekeeping, and child rearing. The health of non-regular workers might be threatened by the effects of precarious employment status, lower income, a lower safety net, outdated social norm regarding non-regular workers, and difficulty in achieving a work-life balance. A sector wide social approach to consider life course aspect is needed to protect the health and well-being of female workers' health; promotion of an occupational health program alone is insufficient.
Sleep inertia is the period of impaired performance and grogginess experienced after waking. This period of impairment is of concern to workers who are on-call, or nap during work hours, and need to perform safety-critical tasks soon after waking. While several studies have investigated the best sleep timing and length to minimise sleep inertia effects, few have focused on countermeasures -especially those that can be implemented after waking (i.e. reactive countermeasures). This structured review summarises current literature on reactive countermeasures to sleep inertia such as caffeine, light, and temperature and discusses evidence for the effectiveness and operational viability of each approach. Current literature does not provide a convincing evidence-base for a reactive countermeasure. Caffeine is perhaps the best option, although it is most effective when administered prior to sleep and is therefore not strictly reactive. Investigations into light and temperature have found promising results for improving subjective alertness; further research is needed to determine whether these countermeasures can also attenuate performance impairment. Future research in this area would benefit from study design features highlighted in this review. In the meantime, it is recommended that proactive sleep inertia countermeasures are used, and that safety-critical tasks are avoided immediately after waking.
A human body is occasionally electrified in a room. This charged object will be a source of electrostatic accidents, including the malfunction of electronic equipment. Hence, prevention of these accidents is required. Accidents occasionally occur, even though antistatic clothes and shoes are used. One of the causes for these accidents is that there is a lack of the preventive measures. This situation occurs when using, for example, unconductive wax. In this study, human body potential (voltage) is measured using a non-contact measuring system. An investigation of the human body's voltage when using this system is conducted. The result demonstrates that the voltage of a human body wearing antistatic clothes and shoes or light clothes and slippers exceeds a malfunctioning voltage of a microelectronics device when the body walks on floors. Thus, accidents may occur even if a human body wearing the antistatic clothes walks on flooring. These results will be useful in estimating determination whether electrostatic accidents occur or not.
The objective of this study was to psychophysically determine the maximum acceptable weight of lift (MAWL) for polypropylene (PP) laminated bags. Twelve men were requested to decide their MAWLs under various task combinations involving 3 lifting ranges, 3 lifting frequencies, and 2 hand conditions. The results revealed that the MAWL was significantly affected by the frequency and range variables (all p<.001), whereas the hand condition did not influence the MAWL. The participants exhibited relatively low MAWL values compared with subjects in previous studies, especially in infrequent lifts. The results of multiple stepwise regression revealed that certain anthropometric data (e.g., chest circumference, wrist circumference, and acromial height) accounted for the percentage of variance for the determined MAWLs, ranging from 56.2% to 83.4%. These data can be obtained simply and quickly, and are considered the superior predictors for MAWL determination when handling PP laminated bags.
Construction workers (CWs) are both more exposed to tetanus and at higher risk to be inadequately immunized. Our aim was to evaluate tetanus immunization status and knowledge/attitudes towards tetanus vaccination in CWs in Italy. In this field report, the immunization status of 554 unskilled CWs (i.e. labourers). Immunization status was assessed recalling immunization booklets/certificates. Attitudes and knowledge were collected through a standardized questionnaire. In 240/554 CWs, immunization status was inadequate/not documented: in 184 subjects (33.2%), the last vaccination shot was older than 10 years, whereas basal immunization was incomplete in 20 cases, more frequently in foreign-born people (FBP) than in Italian born (IBP) (OR=7.116). In 198 cases (35.7%), an Occupational Physician (OPh) performed last booster, usually with monovalent (T, n=173) vaccine. The main reason for inadequate immunization was having forgotten the periodic booster (148/554; 26.7%), whereas 42 subjects (7.6%) deliberately avoided tetanus vaccine because of personal/religious beliefs, more frequently in FBP than in IBP (OR=3.182). In summary, the prevalence of inadequate immunization status was relatively high (43.4%): the high prevalence of "forgotten boosters" enlightens the key role of OPh in recalling and promoting vaccination policies. Moreover, the inappropriate use of Td vaccine points out the opportunity for educational campaigns in OPh.
The present study aimed to survey systems in Japanese companies for supporting workers returning to work from sickness absence due to mental illness. A questionnaire survey was mailed to 3,545 companies. Support systems for return to work, sick leave, and multiple sick-listed (MSL) workers were examined. A total of 161 companies responded to the survey (response rate: 4.5%). About 80% of the companies expressed difficulty in dealing with workers with mental health problems. About half of all companies reported having reset period and financial compensation systems, as well as gradual resumption and trial attendance systems. Most large companies tended to have reset period and trial attendance systems. No association was found between company size and MSL rates. The most frequent diagnosis among workers was depression, and the mean number of sick leave days was 275.3. Although there might have been a selection bias due to the low response rate, the results of this study are expected to be useful for companies when formulating employment systems.