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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


BARROS, Mauro V G de  and  NAHAS, Markus V. Health risk behaviors, health status self-assessment and stress perception among industrial workers. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2001, vol.35, n.6, pp.554-563. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the prevalence and association among health risk behaviors, stress perception, and health status self-assessment among industrial workers. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed using a questionnaire previously tested in a pilot study in the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Data on smoking, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetables intake, physical activity, stress perception, and self-assessment of health status were available for 4,225 workers (67.5% males and 32.5% females). Subjects were selected using a 3-stage cluster sampling (5% error margin). Statistical analysis was performed using Chi-square, and logistic regression analysis (p<0.05). RESULTS: The mean age was 29.7 years old (SD=8.6). The prevalence of smokers was 20.6%, higher among males (23.1%) than females (15.6%). The proportion of heavy drinkers was high (57.2% among males and 18.8% among females). Almost half of the subjects (46.2%) reported no leisure-time physical activity (67% females and 34.8% males). Approximately 14% of subjects reported high levels of stress and difficulty to cope with daily tasks. About 15% of the workers perceived their health status as regular or poor. Gender, age, marital status, number of children, educational level and economic status were significantly associated with the prevalence of health risk behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the limitations of cross-sectional studies, based on self-report assessments, the study results suggest a high prevalence of alcohol consumption and physical inactivity during leisure time. The observed association between gender and health risk behavior suggests that both sexes engage in risk behaviors: for men these behaviors are direct or active (smoking, alcohol consumption) and for women, they are more indirect or passive (physical inactivity, stress).

Keywords : Occupational health; Stress [epidemiology]; Health surveys; Health status indicators; Life style; Risk factors; Health behavior; Leisure activities; Smoking; Food habits; Exercise.

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