What is Workplace Wellness? Cartoons & Stats 5 Random Wellness Stats Glossary

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Workplace Wellness/Health Promotion Glossary

Demand/control model
The Demand/control model was posited by Karasek and Theorell in 1990. It states that a combination of high psychological demands and low control over ones job ('high strain' jobs) leads to mental and physical illnesses, while a combination of high psychological demands and high job control ('active jobs') leads to well-being, learning and personal growth.

Examples of high psychological demands include constant pressure from deadlines, job insecurity, or prolonged interactions with angry coworkers or clients.
Potential ailments resulting from job strain:

  • increased risk of physical injuries at work

  • high blood pressure (hypertension)

  • insomnia

  • cardiovascular disease

  • psychosomatic symptoms

  • adverse birth outcomes

  • mental health conditions including epression

  • periodontal disease

  • cancer

  • Other precursors to serious illness are found hand in hand with (though not necessarily caused by) high strian jobs:

  • increases in smoking and drinking

  • susceptibility to infection

  • elevated cholesterol

  • Other factors that cause high strain jobs to adversely affect employees' health:

  • Employees who have no sense of control over their job situation are less motivated to take part in activities that improve their health.

  • Employees who are working excess hours do not have the time to devote to exercise and positive health behaviour.

  • Related Material:
  • Robert Karasek & Tores Theorell: "Healthy Work: Stress, Productivity, and the Reconstruction of Working Life," 1990

  • Jones, Bright, Searle, & Cooper: "Modelling occupational stress and health: The impact of the demand-control model on academic
    research and on workplace practice", 1998;

  • Kristensen: "Working and Learning in the Information Age: A Profile of Canadians", 1995

  • Jackson: "The Unhealthy Canadian Workplace", 2002
  • Search results for other NHC pages containing: Demand/control model


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