There is growing evidence that occupation and workplace factors are associated with personal health behaviors and outcomes. Our team has examined the relationship between work and health in several projects in blue-collar and service industries (construction, healthcare, and retail) and for a broad range of health issues including smoking, obesity, and stress.
In a recent project examining obesity, diet, and physical activity in low-income workers, we used both qualitative and quantitative analytic methods to understand the complex interaction between workplace factors and personal health behaviors. Using a common tool in Human-Centered Design, our team created an “experience map” (pdf) combining the quantitative and qualitative data that we collected from grocery store workers. This information will be useful in creating meaningful interventions that are relevant to the target population.