It Comes With the Job: Work Organizational, Job Design, and Self-Regulatory Barriers to Improving the Health Status of Train Drivers

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Abstract

Objective:

This study aimed to examine the impacts of key barriers to improving the occupational health status of Australian train drivers.

Methods:

From May to June, 2015, five semi-structured qualitative focus groups were conducted with 29 train drivers from South Australian, Victorian, and New South Wales-based rail organizations in Australia.

Results:

Occupational health was impeded by multiple barriers regarding sleep (patterns/fatigue), diet (planning/context), mental health (occupational stress), rostering (low autonomy), sedentary time, low fitness motivation, and family/social life conflicts. Work organizational barriers included communication issues, low organizational support, and existing social norms. Job design barriers included rostering, fatigue, stimulant reliance, and family/social life imbalances. Self-regulatory barriers included dietary and exercise patterns habits and patterns.

Conclusions:

Occupational health interventions for Australian train drivers must address work organizational, job design, and self-regulatory barriers to healthier lifestyle behaviors.

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