Australian bus drivers' modifiable and contextual risk factors for chronic disease: A workplace study.

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Date: July 29, 2021
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 7)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,163 words
Lexile Measure: 1520L

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Abstract :

Introduction Little is known about workplace health promotion for bus drivers. Bus drivers are at-risk of chronic disease because they are exposed to the risk factor combination of poor nutrition, low levels of physical activity, high levels of sedentary time and are often overweight or obese. The purpose of this paper is to situate the quantitative baseline data collected from bus drivers within qualitative findings about the socio-cultural context of the workplace. Materials and methods Baseline data about physical activity, dietary intake and sedentary hours was collected from 58 drivers employed by a large bus company in southeast Queensland. Ten drivers and seven key workplace informants participated in interviews and discussion groups about driver health behaviours, workplace structure, culture, and resources. Results The quantitative results of our study reveal bus drivers have a cluster of poor health behaviours-limited physical activity, lower than recommended consumption of fruit and vegetables and high levels of sitting time during working-hours-which contribute to a high prevalence of overweight and obesity and a heightened risk of chronic disease. The qualitative findings suggest there are individual and structural barriers to improving drivers' modifiable health behaviours. Individual barriers include ingrained poor habits and more pressing life concerns, while structural barriers in the context of the workplace include time constraints, shift work, long days, a lack of work amenities and a general disconnect of drivers with their workplace. Conclusion In this workplace, health promotion strategies for bus drivers should be prioritised as a means of improving drivers' health. To maximise uptake and effectiveness, these strategies should make use of existing workplace resources and consider the context of workplace health behaviour change. Further research is warranted in a broader sample of Australian bus companies to explore the context of workplace health behavior change so targeted strategies to improve bus drivers' health can be developed.

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A670025449