Association between occupational exposure to chemical or physical factors and sleep disturbance: An analysis of the fifth Korean Working Conditions Survey

2022-08-01

Objective: A range of risk factors in occupational environments can negatively affect the sleep of workers. Although psychosocial factors have been emphasized in various studies, few have reported on the relationship between physical or chemical exposure in the workplace and sleep disturbances. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the relationship between occupational exposure to physical or chemical factors and sleep disturbances.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Data from the fifth Korean Working Conditions Survey (KWCS).

Participants: The target population of the fifth KWCS was economically active individuals aged 15 years or older in all Korean households in 2017, resulting in a total study population of 50,176 participants. After excluding the unemployed, full-time students, homemakers, and the retired, 36,996 employees were included in the current study.

Measurements: Exposure to occupational physical or chemical risk factors was assessed by multiplying the exposure scales of physical or chemical risk factors and weekly working hours. Sleep disturbance was estimated using the Minimal Insomnia Symptom Scale.

Results: In the fully adjusted logistic regression model, exposure to the following risk factors was positively associated with sleep disturbance: vibration (odds ratio [OR], 1.74)); noise (OR, 2.28); high temperatures (OR, 2.43); low temperatures (OR, 2.51); smoke, fume, and dust (OR, 2.12); vapors of solvents or thinners (OR, 3.78); chemical substances (OR, 3.78); and environmental smoking (OR, 5.03).

Conclusions: The results of this study provide evidence of a relationship between occupational exposure to physical or chemical factors and sleep disturbances.

Authors: Seong-Sik Cho, Mo-Yeol Kang
; Full Source: Sleep health 2022 Aug 1;S2352-7218(22)00087-0. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2022.06.004.