Online Program

Healthy behaviors and better health among construction workers

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Julie Largay, MPH, CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, MD
Xiuwen Sue Dong, DrPH, Data Center, CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, MD
Xuanwen Wang, PhD, CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, MD
Background and Objectives: Construction workers are regularly exposed to hazardous environments on the job. Although workplace hazards may have a negative impact on health, partaking in healthy activities such as exercise, and abstaining from smoking and illegal drug use may improve general health. This study examines the association between health behaviors and conditions among construction workers in order to provide evidence for worker health promotion in the construction industry.

Methods: Two nationally representative data sources, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), are used to stratify health behaviors by various health indicators among worker subgroups.

Results: Preliminary results from the NHIS show a positive relationship between healthy behaviors and better health among construction workers. Among those with the best health, 51% had never smoked, compared to just 25% of those with fair or poor health. Similarly, 73% of the healthier group reported sleeping between seven and nine hours per night, compared to 53% in the less healthy group. Furthermore, the healthier group was more likely than the less healthy group to perform weekly vigorous activities. The initial findings also provide evidence that light or moderate drinking benefits worker's health. More detailed data from the NHIS and NSDUH will be provided in the presentation.

Conclusion: Healthy lifestyle is associated with better health among construction workers. It is important to integrate health promotion into ongoing construction workplace interventions for an overall healthier workforce in the industry.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify behaviors linked to better health.

Keyword(s): Health Behavior, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The presenter has conducted research on occupational safety and health for nearly 20 years, and is the PI of this NIOSH-funded project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.