Publications by authors named "Merja Perkio-Makela"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Work exposures and mental and musculoskeletal symptoms in organic farming.

Ergonomics 2021 Sep 23:1-11. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA.

This study focussed on harmful exposures and mental and musculoskeletal symptoms in organic and conventional farming using interview data of Finnish farmers over the winter of 2014-2015. The data consisted of 2,169 full-time farmers, out of whom 231 (11%) practiced organic farming and 1,938 (89%) conventional farming. Exposure to poisonous and irritating substances was less frequent while exposures to vibration and mould ('smell of root cellar') were more frequent on organic farms. Mental and musculoskeletal symptoms were slightly more common among organic farmers, but the associations were not statistically significant in regression modelling. Risk factors for mental symptoms included animal production, hired labour, female gender, constant hurry, working alone, economic uncertainty, and inadequate recovery from workdays. Risk factors for musculoskeletal symptoms included older age, female gender, constant hurry, economic uncertainty, difficult working postures, heavy lifting and carrying, and inadequate recovery. Workload and recovery, managing the transition period and better follow-up of the occupational well-being were identified as concerns among organic farmers. : Converting from conventional to organic farming has become increasingly common. Farmer interviews indicated that exposure to poisonous and irritating substances was less frequent while exposures to vibration and mould were more frequent on organic farms. Mental and musculoskeletal symptoms and risk factors were similar in both types of farming.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2021.1974102DOI Listing
September 2021

Work community factors, occupational well-being and work ability in home care: A structural equation modelling.

Nurs Open 2021 11 15;8(6):3190-3200. Epub 2021 Aug 15.

Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

Aim: To examine how work community factors are related to occupational well-being and work ability, and how occupational well-being is related to work ability.

Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted among home care workers in one municipality in Finland.

Methods: A self-administered survey on work and well-being was filled out by 167 employees working two shifts in 2019. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the association between work community factors, occupational well-being and work ability.

Results: The only work community factor directly affecting Occupational well-being was Information and work organization; the effect of the other two factors, Social support and Influence on work shifts, was indirect. All work community factors indirectly affected Work ability. Home care should emphasize information provision and work organization with optimal time use. This requires social support, a well-functioning work atmosphere and providing employees with opportunities for influence and participation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nop2.1032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8510720PMC
November 2021

Heart rate variability and chronotype - a systematic review.

Chronobiol Int 2021 12 16;38(12):1786-1796. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

There is a scarcity of evidence on the association between heart rate variability (HRV) and chronotype, i.e., morningness and eveningness. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the association between chronotype, HRV, mood and stress response. We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Cinahl, PsycINFO and Google Scholar for peer-reviewed articles published in English between January 2000 and June 2020. A total of 11 articles met the inclusion criteria and were on study population, assessment of HRV and chronotype, main results and study limitations. Seven of the included studies were experimental and four were crossovers. The sample size varied from 9 to 221 participants, and both females and males were included. HRV was assessed using mostly time-domain and frequency-domain parameters; nonlinear parameters were used in only one study. The most used assessments for measuring chronotype were the Horne-Östberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) and the Munich Chronotype Questionnaire (MCTQ). The results showed that chronotype was associated with HRV, but the study designs were situation-specific, focusing, for example, on the effects of shiftwork, stressful situations, exercise, or sleep deprivation on HRV. In addition, some studies showed that evening types (E-type) performed better during evening or nighttime tasks, whereas morning types (M-type) performed better during morning activities. Specifically, E-types showed decreased HRV and HRV recovery in relation to tasks performed during morning or daytime when compared to M-types. As the findings are somewhat contradictory and include some methodological limitations (e.g., small sample sizes, age groups), it is important for future studies to evaluate the association between chronotype and HRV in a longitudinal setting. In addition, further research is needed to determine how chronotype can be optimally and individually utilized to increase the health and well-being of M-type and E-type individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07420528.2021.1939363DOI Listing
December 2021

Determinants of Good Work Ability among Organic and Conventional Farmers in Finland.

J Agric Saf Health 2020 Jun;26(2):67-76

University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

Based on earlier studies, farmers have poorer work ability compared to workers in most other occupations. The aim of this study was to explore if organic production has a positive effect on producers' work ability while controlling for demographic and production characteristics. This study used telephone interview data collected by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in 2014-2015. The material consisted of 2,164 farmers: 231 in organic production and 1,933 in conventional production. Work ability was measured with a single question regarding the farmers' current work ability compared with their lifetime best on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 meaning unable to work. The data were analyzed using multivariable logistic regression. Organic production had a negative effect on work ability, while larger farm size, experiencing economic uncertainty rarely/never/occasionally (vs. often), age under 55 years, having occupational health coverage, and experiencing low amounts of physical strain or mental strain had positive effects in a multivariable model. While this study could not consider potential biases from the farmers' existing health status at the time of switching to organic production and other sources, it is clear that greater attention needs to be paid to improving worker health, safety, and wellness in organic farming.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13031/jash.13667DOI Listing
June 2020

Physical working conditions as covered in European monitoring questionnaires.

BMC Public Health 2017 06 5;17(1):544. Epub 2017 Jun 5.

Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin (Federal Institute for Occupational Safety & Health), Department "Work & Health", Nöldnerstraße 40-42, 10317, Berlin, Germany.

Background: The prevalence of workers with demanding physical working conditions in the European work force remains high, and occupational physical exposures are considered important risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), a major burden for both workers and society. Exposures to physical workloads are therefore part of the European nationwide surveys to monitor working conditions and health. An interesting question is to what extent the same domains, dimensions and items referring to the physical workloads are covered in the surveys. The purpose of this paper is to determine 1) which domains and dimensions of the physical workloads are monitored in surveys at the national level and the EU level and 2) the degree of European consensus among these surveys regarding coverage of individual domains and dimensions.

Method: Items on physical workloads used in one European wide/Spanish and five other European nationwide work environment surveys were classified into the domains and dimensions they cover, using a taxonomy agreed upon among all participating partners.

Results: The taxonomy reveals that there is a modest overlap between the domains covered in the surveys, but when considering dimensions, the results indicate a lower agreement. The phrasing of items and answering categories differs between the surveys. Among the domains, the three domains covered by all surveys are "lifting, holding & carrying of loads/pushing & pulling of loads", "awkward body postures" and "vibrations". The three domains covered less well, that is only by three surveys or less, are "physical work effort", "working sitting", and "mixed exposure".

Conclusions: This is the fırst thorough overview to evaluate the coverage of domains and dimensions of self-reported physical workloads in a selection of European nationwide surveys. We hope the overview will provide input to the revisions and updates of the individual countries' surveys in order to enhance coverage of relevant domains and dimensions in all surveys and to increase the informational value of the surveys.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4465-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5460526PMC
June 2017

Link between haste and occupational injury.

Work 2017 ;56(1):119-124

Background: It is claimed that haste has increased in modern work life. Only a few studies on professional drivers show that haste increases the risk of occupational injury.

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between haste and occupational injury in a large, representative sample of Finnish employees.

Methods: The material comes from the Finnish National Work and Health, which have been carried every three years since 1977. The final study group included 12 926 currently working employees, aged 25 to 64. The data were collected through computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI).

Results: Employees who worked in haste rather or very often (25%) were involved in occupational injuries significantly more often than those working in haste less often (8%, p < 0.001). Constant interruptions increased the risk of occupational injury (OR = 12.06, 95% CI 8.48 to 17.16). Experiencing very much stress at work was also connected to occupational injury (OR = 2.80, 95% CI 1.13 to 6.95). Feeling negative emotions at work was related to haste (OR = 3.53, 95% CI 1.54 to 8.11).

Conclusions: This study showed a correlation between haste and occupational injuries. It focused on the participants' need to hurry in order to get their job finished. However, the way in which different individuals experienced haste varied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/WOR-162471DOI Listing
August 2017

Dimensional comparability of psychosocial working conditions as covered in European monitoring questionnaires.

BMC Public Health 2014 Dec 9;14:1251. Epub 2014 Dec 9.

Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin (Federal Institute for Occupational Safety & Health), Department "Work & Health", Nöldnerstraße 40-42, 10317 Berlin, Germany.

Background: In most countries in the EU, national surveys are used to monitor working conditions and health. Since the development processes behind the various surveys are not necessarily theoretical, but certainly practical and political, the extent of similarity among the dimensions covered in these surveys has been unclear. Another interesting question is whether prominent models from scientific research on work and health are present in the surveys--bearing in mind that the primary focus of these surveys is on monitoring status and trends, not on mapping scientific models. Moreover, it is relevant to know which other scales and concepts not stemming from these models have been included in the surveys. The purpose of this paper is to determine (1) the similarity of dimensions covered in the surveys included and (2) the congruence of dimensions of scientific research and of dimensions present in the monitoring systems.

Method: Items from surveys representing six European countries and one European wide survey were classified into the dimensions they cover, using a taxonomy agreed upon among all involved partners from the six countries.

Results: The classification reveals that there is a large overlap of dimensions, albeit not in the formulation of items, covered in the seven surveys. Among the available items, the two prominent work-stress-models--job-demand-control-support-model (DCS) and effort-reward-imbalance-model (ERI)--are covered in most surveys even though this has not been the primary aim in the compilation of these surveys. In addition, a large variety of items included in the surveillance systems are not part of these models and are--at least partly--used in nearly all surveys. These additional items reflect concepts such as "restructuring", "meaning of work", "emotional demands" and "offensive behaviour/violence & harassment".

Conclusions: The overlap of the dimensions being covered in the various questionnaires indicates that the interests of the parties deciding on the questionnaires in the different countries overlap. The large number of dimensions measured in the questionnaires and not being part of the DCS and ERI models is striking. These "new" dimensions could inspire the research community to further investigate their possible health and labour market effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-14-1251DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4295265PMC
December 2014

Physical workload and thoughts of retirement.

Work 2012 ;41 Suppl 1:303-6

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Kuopio, Neulaniementie 4, Kuopio, Finland.

The aim of this paper is to present Finnish employees' opinions on continuing work until retirement pension and after the age of 63, and to find out if physical workload is related to these opinions. Altogether 39% of men and 40% of women had never had thoughts of early retirement, and 59% claimed (both men and women) that they would consider working beyond the age of 63. Own health (20%); financial gain such as salary and better pension (19%); meaningful, interesting and challenging work (15%); flexible working hours or part-time work (13%); lighter work load (13%); good work community (8%); and good work environment (6%) were stated as factors affecting the decision to continue working after the age of 63. Employees whose work involved low physical workload had less thoughts of early retirement and had considered continuing work after the age of 63 more often than those whose work involved high physical loads. Own health in particular was stated as a reason to consider continuing work by employees whose work was physically demanding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/WOR-2012-0173-303DOI Listing
March 2014
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