Objective: The aim of this prospective study was to examine the link between individual and ecological workplace social capital and the co-occurrence of adverse lifestyle risk factors, such as smoking, heavy drinking, physical inactivity and overweight.
Methods: Data on 25,897 female and 5476 male public sector employees were analyzed. Questionnaire surveys conducted in 2000–2002 (baseline) and in 2004-2005 (follow-up) were used to assess workplace social capital, lifestyle risk factors, and other characteristics. Multilevel multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to examine the associations of individual and ecological social capital with the co-occurrence of lifestyle risk factors.
Results: In the cross-sectional analysis adjusted for age, sex, marital status, and employer, low social capital at work both at individual and ecological levels was associated with at least 1.3 times higher odds of having more than two lifestyle risk factors versus having no risk factors. Similar associations were found in the prospective setting. However, additional adjustment for co-occurrence of risk factors and socio-economic status at baseline attenuated the result to non-significant.
Conclusion: Social capital at work seems to be associated with a lowered risk of co-occurrence of multiple lifestyle risk factors, but it does not clearly predict a future risk of this co-occurrence.
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