Projects - Job Characteristics

Job Characteristics, Lifestyle Behaviours and Physical Health of Nurses working in Ireland

A project was conducted investigating the impact of psychosocial work environments on the physical health and lifestyle behaviours of nurses.  A sub-study of this work focused on age and physical activity levels.  Increased age and physical demands at work can impact physical activity levels while at work and at leisure.  However, research has shown physical activity at work, without leisure time activity, is insufficient to prolong well-being. 

We aimed to investigate the physical activity levels of nurses at work and at leisure, to determine if age (<40 years and ≥40 years) or/and job demands are associated with reported physical activity levels and to establish if work physical activity levels are associated with leisure-time physical activity.

 Less than half of our sample of nurses engaged in recommended physical activity levels (150 minutes a week or more) at work with older nurses (40 years and over) significantly less likely to report this than younger nurses.  Only 9% of nurses reported leisure-time physical activity levels at the recommended amount however, nurses who reported high quantitative demands at work (39%) were over twice as likely to report achieving recommended levels of physical activity both at work and at leisure.  No association was found between work and leisure time physical activity levels.  Work area and the physical activity levels required of nurses need to be examined and matched to retain experienced nurses in the workforce.

The Team:  Dr Vera Mc Carthy, Dr Teresa Wills, Ms Sharon Crowley

Results from this study have been published at

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Scoil an Altranais agus an Chnáimhseachais

Brookfield Health Sciences Complex College Road Cork, Ireland , T12 AK54