Effort reward imbalance is associated with vagal withdrawal in Danish public sector employees

Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.
International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology (Impact Factor: 2.88). 06/2011; 81(3):218-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2011.06.014
Source: PubMed


The current study analyzed the relationship between psychosocial work environment assessed by the Effort Reward Imbalance Model (ERI-model) and heart rate variability (HRV) measured at baseline and again, two years later, as this relationship is scarcely covered by the literature.
Measurements of HRV during seated rest were obtained from 231 public sector employees. The associations between the ERI-model, and HRV were examined using a series of mixed effects models. The dependent variables were the logarithmically transformed levels of HRV-measures. Gender and year of measurement were included as factors, whereas age, and time of measurement were included as covariates. Subject was included as a random effect.
Effort and effort reward imbalance were positively associated with heart rate and the ratio between low frequency (LF) and high frequency power (HF) and negatively associated with total power (TP) and HF. Reward was positively associated with TP.
Adverse psychosocial work environment according to the ERI-model was associated with HRV, especially in the form of vagal withdrawal and most pronounced in women.

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    • "Studies of the relationship between ERI and HRV have provided evidence that this workplace psychosocial factor can affect workers' autonomic arousals. Previous studies have reported that workers with high ERI had lower HRV compared to their colleagues during periods while participants were sitting quietly during work (Eller et al. 2011; Hintsanen et al. 2007) and over a workday (Uusitalo et al. 2011; Vrijkotte et al. 2000). The results of these studies, compiled in recent reviews, have indicated that increased ERI is associated with decreased HRV (Chandola et al. 2010; Jarczok et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose High levels of workplace psychosocial factors have been associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes, possibly through the pathway of increasing autonomic arousal. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the workplace psychosocial factors of effort–reward imbalance (ERI) and overcommitment were associated with greater decreases in heart rate variability (HRV) across a 2-h working period in a cohort of office workers performing their own work at their own workplaces. Methods Measurements of HRV in 5-min time epochs across a 2-h morning or afternoon working period, as well as self-reports of ERI and overcommitment, were collected for 91 office workers. Results There was a negative and significant (p
    International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 09/2014; 88(5). DOI:10.1007/s00420-014-0983-0 · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    • "Overall, the current review provides further support of the applicability of cardiac autonomic function monitoring for work related stress. Factors related to adverse working conditions such as excessive effort (Vrijkotte et al., 2004), effort-reward imbalance (Eller et al., 2011a; Uusitalo et al., 2011), over commitment (Vrijkotte et al., 2004; Lindholm et al., 2012), irregular shift work (Lindholm et al., 2012), and work stress (Chandola et al., 2008) were significantly related to reduced cardiac autonomic function. Therefore, HRV monitoring may provide a simple and non-invasive assessment of stress and allostatic load in working environments that employers could utilize in the efficient management of employees. "
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