|Title||The Relationship Between Occupational Physical Demands and Job Satisfaction: Sex, Age, Class, and Ethnoracial Group Perspectives|
|Year of Publication||2005|
|University||University of Southern California|
|Keywords||Employment and Labor Force, Health Conditions and Status|
Historical records show extensive patterns of involuntary removal of women and older workers from physically demanding occupations. Although most such sex- and age-based exclusion from physically demanding work is no longer legal in the United States, and although most research shows that physical activity is of benefit to people, job actions and policy considerations continue to be influenced by cultural sentiment that physically demanding work is of no interest to or inappropriate for women and older workers. What are the effects of these negative cultural influences on job satisfaction? Do they outweigh the benefits of physical activity? What are the resultant relationships between occupational physical demands and job satisfaction for women and older workers? To determine the answers, the contributions of physical demands toward job satisfaction are compared across a series of multivariate analyses on subsets of sex, age, class, and ethnoracial groups in two data sets. A physical demands variable created from U.S. Department of Labor data is used with National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) data on those aged 19 or older, while a self-report physical effort variable is utilized with Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data on those aged 51 to 61. NSFH findings are that women and older workers have more positive physical demands-job satisfaction relationships than men and younger workers. Older men in boring jobs have more positive results than their counterparts in interesting jobs. HRS findings are that non-health limited women and men with lesser non-workplace physical activity have more positive physical demands-job satisfaction relationships than those with greater non-workplace physical activity. Occupational physical demands appear to operate primarily, although not entirely, as compensatory mechanisms in their effect on job satisfaction. They are more salient for job satisfaction when other occupational intrinsic factors are lacking, but more importantly, when there is insufficient non-workplace physical activity. Thus, it should not be assumed that physically demanding work is inappropriate for or not of interest to women and older workers.
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|Short Title||The Relationship Between Occupational Physical Demands and Job Satisfaction: Sex, Age, Class, and Ethnoracial Group Perspectives|