The relationship between job stress and body mass index using longitudinal data from Canada

Sunday Azagba, Mesbah F. Sharaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: This paper examines the effect of job stress, as measured by the job strain model (high job demands and low job control) on an individual's body mass index (BMI) using data from the Canadian National Population Health Survey. Methods: We use panel data estimation methods to account for unobserved individual-level heterogeneity to better examine the relationship between job-related stress and BMI. Results :Results from the fixed effects and random effects models show no statistically significant difference in BMI levels between individuals in jobs with high/medium strain compared to jobs with low strain. However, in the cross-sectional OLS model, job stress has a positive and significant effect on BMI. These analyses control for sociodemographic factors, lifestyle behavior, workplace social support, occupational and provincial fixed effects. The results suggest that the mixed findings in the previous studies may in part be due to unobserved characteristics that cannot be controlled for using standard cross-sectional analysis. Conclusion: This study results suggest the need for further longitudinal evidence in order to have a better understanding of the relationship between job stress and body weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)807-815
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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