Workplace Stress Makes Healthy Choices Go Up in Smoke

A study of 423 adult American smokers suggests that stress stemming from work-family conflict can lead to an increase in smoking and other unhealthy behaviors. Based on their findings, researchers from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington encourage employers to implement workplace wellness and smoking cessation programs to help boost employee health.

The study, “The Association Between Work-Family Conflict and Smoking Quantity Among Daily Smokers,” found that men and women who smoked daily reported that their smoking increased when conflict from work affected their home life. Women also reported the inverse: increased smoking when home conflict affected their work.

“There’s growing evidence that work-family conflict is related to a range of negative health behaviors, and it’s something for workplace wellness programs to take into consideration when they’re trying to get employees to engage in healthier behaviors, whether it’s physical activity, nutrition or quitting smoking,” said Jon Macy, lead author and assistant professor in the Department of Applied Health Science at the School of Public Health-Bloomington.

“Wellness programs are becoming increasingly prevalent in the workplace,” Macy added. “If a program is going to deal with smoking, given how difficult it is for people to quit, it might be more successful by looking at some of the underlying issues. Our findings suggest that work-home conflict is one area that should be looked at and addressed in cessation counseling.”

Workplace Stress Makes Healthy Choices Go Up in Smoke
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