Introduction It is well established that physical inactivity is associated with poor mental health, though there is lack of the investigations concerning the associations of physical inactivity and psychological distress in human directed occupations in relation to psychosocial factors at work and everyday life. The objective of the present study was to assess the associations between physical inactivity and psychological distress among family physicians, community nurses and secondary school teachers taking into account the possible influence of psychosocial factors at work and everyday life.
Methods The representative samples of the Lithuanian family physicians (n = 323), community nurses (N = 748) and secondary school teachers (N = 517) were investigated. The anonymous questionnaire contained the information on workplace bullying (NAQ-22), Karasek and Theorell Job content Questionnaire, Godin Leisure time physical activity Questionnaire, Goldberg General health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). A set of questions were addressed about threatening life events during the last year. SPSS 22.0 for Windows used in data analysis. Logistic regression analysis was performed.
Results After adjustment for age, workplace bullying, job demands, job control, social support at work, threatening life events, alcohol and smoking, OR of physical inactivity for psychological distress among family physicians was 4.04; 95% CI: 1.70–9.42, among community nurses 1.84; 95% CI: 1.19–2.82, among teachers 3.60; 95% CI: 1.48–8.76.
Conclusions Physical inactivity is an independent risk factor for poor mental health in health and educational occupations in relation to psychosocial factors at work and everyday life. The preventive programs directed towards the improvement of physical activity levels should be applied in those female dominated occupations for health promotion purposes.
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