After Work Is Done: Psychological Perspectives on Recovery from Work

Universität Konstanz, Constance, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.09). 06/2006; 15(2):129-138. DOI: 10.1080/13594320500513855
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Available from: Fred R H Zijlstra
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    • "Recovery can be conceptualized as a process of psychophysiological deactivation after effort expenditure, which is the opposite of the psychophysiological activation that occurs during strain or stress [13]. Recovery occurs in the absence of demands, which allows the arousal level to return to baseline, depleted resources to be restored, fatigue reduced, and existing or future demands be dealt with more efficiently [14]. Thus recovery, especially repeated recovery, would be instrumental in counteracting the harmful prolongation of everyday life stress reactions [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Current research indicates that stress problems primarily could be conceptualized as deficiencies in recovery and recuperation between stress periods. Accordingly, interventions should put more emphasis on this aspect. A group based intervention program focusing exclusively on recovery behavior in everyday life was evaluated in this quasi-experimental, waiting-list control group study, where the control group was also treated in a second phase. Thirty-two self-referred female subjects, considering themselves in need of treatment for stress related health problems, were available for analyzes. Fifteen of these constituted the first phase treatment group (INT), while the remaining 17 subjects were placed on waiting list (WLC). Adding a few late applicants leaved 20 subjects later treated in the second intervention phase. Significant and clinically meaningful positive effects emerged in the INT—compared to the WLC-group on recovery behaviors, stress—and recovery experiences, as well as on burnout symptoms, worry, anxiety and depression. Secondary analyzes of all treated subjects indicated that the positive change the primary clinical endpoint was predicted by the increase in frequency of recovery behaviors and by the decrease in the worry level. Thus, the present intervention model merits further research with more rigorous experimental design as well as with follow-up assessments.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Health
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    • "Whereas some studies (e.g. Rook & Zijlstra, 2006) found a positive impact from them on recovery, which could be because that they shift attention away from work-related issues, other studies (i.e. Volmana, Bakker & Xanthopoulou, 2013) found household and child care unrelated to the recovery process. "
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    ABSTRACT: The concept of ‘recovery’ (from work) has quickly gained in importance in the occupational health literature. However, we think that the conceptualization of ‘recovery’ needs some more attention. Although many authors acknowledge that ‘recovery’ refers to a ‘process’, the concept is often treated as a static construct. In this paper, we argue that recovery should be conceptualized as a dynamic construct related to changes in psychophysiological state of the person. We refer to two main theories that have provided a theoretical framework for research in this area: Meijman & Mulder's Effort-Recovery (E-R) model and Hobfoll's Conservation of Resources theory.In particular, the E-R model has been seminal in this area and stresses the element of changing psychophysiological states that has been used for reconceptualising ‘recovery’. Various biological rhythms influence these changing psychophysiological states, and thus the level of energy (or effort) a person can mobilize or wants to mobilize. A distinction is made between ‘physical fatigue’ and ‘mental fatigue’ and its consequences for recovery. The discrepancy between ‘actual state’ and ‘required state’ has been suggested as the basis for ‘recovery’. This emphasises that recovery is a dynamic and ongoing process, which also included motivational aspects, in particular as far as mental work is concerned.The capacity to maintain self-regulation of one's psychophysiological state is important in this respect. Thus, we propose that ‘recovery’ is the continuous process of harmonizing the ‘actual state’ with the state that is ‘required’ at that moment. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Stress and Health
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    • "responsibility for children, household affairs, etc.), which has put the topic of 'work-family balance' on the agenda as an additional challenge for employees (Eurofound, 2011). As part of the work-family balance the issue of 'recovery from the strain of work' has become an important research topic (Zijlstra & Sonnentag, 2006; Zijlstra & Rook, 2008). "

    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2014
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