Work organization, health, and obesity in urban transit operators: A qualitative study

Source: Marnie Dobson, BongKyoo Choi and Peter L. Schnall, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, First published: 18 August 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background:
Urban transit operators have high rates of obesity, hypertension, and other cardiovascular risk-factors compared to other occupations. There have been few qualitative studies exploring the interrelationships between the organization of transit work, stress, and health including obesity, from the perspective of operators.

Methods:
Five focus groups were conducted at five Divisions in a transit authority in Southern California and included 65 bus and rail operators.

Results:
Operators reported a great deal of stress related to their work, including 1) time pressures and lack of recovery time; 2) long work shifts and overtime; 3) feeling unsafe when dealing with the public; 4) lack of respect from supervisors and management. Operators believed stressful working conditions negatively impacted their health and weight.

Conclusion:
This qualitative study yielded new as well as confirmatory data about stress and transit work organization, health, and weight in operators. This study will add to future survey research and interventions in this population.