Improving Performance and Job Satisfaction: What Works?

Oct. 30, 2001
A study examines the effects of environmental and organizational factors on shiftworkers at a printing company.


There is more to work than meets the eye; we all know that.

There are a variety of factors related to work environment, job content, organizational issues and individual characteristics that can influence work performance, job satisfaction and health.

A new study from a group of researchers from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) explored the effects of environmental and organizational stressors on the health of shiftworkers at a printing company. They used a questionnaire to gather data on work history, organizational factors, psychosocial characteristics, medical history, present health, occupational and nonoccupational exposures and lifestyle factors. The results are published in the October issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The study subjects were 124 male workers who were employed for at least a year at a printing company in San Paulo. They had been employed at the company from one to 25 years, and ranged in age from 21 to 58.

The researchers found that workers attributed a number of physical and psychological conditions on their work. They associated chronic back pain, varicose veins, allergic rhinitis, depression and gastritis on environmental and organizational factors. Anxiety scores were associated with allergic rhinitis and skin allergies. Shiftwork was a significant risk factor for conjunctivitis, depression, cardiac arrhythmia and gastritis. Other associations include:

  • tenure on the job and chronic back pain;
  • toluene exposure and skin allergy;
  • worksite and conjunctivitis;
  • worksite and dermatitis
  • number of hours of exercise and varicose veins;
  • alcohol intake and cardiac arrhythmia

"The combined effects of environmental and organizational stressors at work presented important risk factors associated with diseases on the workers of the printing company studied," said researchers.

They said their findings "confirmed the association between environmental and organizational factors and general health deterioration." They added that without taking a multidimensional approach to preventing work-related disease, "a healthy work life cannot be achieved."

by Sandy Smith

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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