Healthy Work Articles

The Healthy Work Campaign‘s column, Healthy Work Now (formerly Working on Empty), debuted in February 2017 on Medium.com. The column explores how work in the U.S. contributes to the poor and declining health of workers, the reasons for toxic workplace cultures, work stress as a consequence of poor work organization, the impact of laws (the need for new ones), workplace policies, and collective action that can create healthy work.

Creating the column (as well as the videos and our 11’ documentary short, Working on Empty) gave rise to this public health campaign. It was our research on the health burden experienced by working men and women in the U.S., resulting from work stress and unhealthy working conditions, that shaped our Healthy Work Mission, Principles and Agenda. If you have gone through the website and feel like you want to dig deeper into the complexities of the research and how they intersect with our dynamic workplaces, cultures and public policies, we encourage you to read and subscribe to our column. If you like what you read, please follow us on Medium and share our column with family, friends and colleagues.

Join the conversation! We want each and every one of you to be a part of the conversation. And we want your co-workers and  communities to join as well. Following and commenting on our articles and our social channels,* you can continue and even elevate the conversation. These articles are for you and, at some point, we hope, they may even be penned by some of you.

We’d love your feedback. When you feel comfortable, please drop us a line and let us know what you think of the articles and the conversations that follow. The  #healthywork movement will only succeed when we’re all part of the conversation and listening to one another. After all, together we’re healthier, happier and more productive.

The Articles:

The Cost of Burnout

The Cost of Burnout: Why We Need Healthy Work

By Marnie Dobson Zimmerman, PhD & Peter Schnall, MD MPH*

Burnout is the feeling that everything is wrong with your job and that no matter how much sleep you get, you just can’t get over this feeling of complete exhaustion when you leave work and when you think about going to work.

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Preventing Work Stressors

Preventing Work Stressors : a Unicorn or the Elephant in the Room?

By Marnie Dobson Zimmerman, PhD

Everyday we hear more and more stories in the media about the stressed-out U.S. workforce. One in 3 U.S. workers report typically feeling stressed during a work day, while 3 out of 5 workers cite work stress as the most significant source of stress next to money.

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So, What is "Healthy Work" Anyway?

So, What is "Healthy Work" Anyway?

By Marnie Dobson Zimmerman, PhD

Work is fundamental to our well-being. Most of us depend on work for our economic survival and that of our family. Work can contribute to our sense of purpose, belonging, self-esteem and good health.

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Workplace Sexual Harassment – not just a Hollywood problem

Workplace Sexual Harassment -- not just a Hollywood problem

By Marnie Dobson Zimmerman, PhD

While Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein dominated the headlines recently with sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations by more than a dozen women including high-profile actresses, he has been joined by a steady stream of powerful men exposed by more than one person.

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Sources of stress at work are increasing in the U.S.

Sources of stress at work are increasing in the U.S.

By Paul Landsbergis, PhD, MPH, EdD — Contributing Researcher and Blog Writer and Stephanie Myers, MPH, PA-C, SUNY-Downstate School of Public Health, Brooklyn, NY

A 49 year old African-American bus driver, who commutes 1 hour for a 12-hour split shift (working from 6–10 am and then again from 2–6 pm), driving through the congested streets of a large city, is trying to keep his hypertension under control. He does not smoke cigarettes and does not drink alcohol.

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"Having a Say" at Work -- Why "job control" matters!

"Having a Say" at Work -- Why "job control" matters!

By Marnie Dobson Zimmerman, PhD

When Martin arrived at work as usual for his part-time (30 hour a week), telecommunications call center sales job, something was unusual. Instead of everyone sitting in their cubicles with their headsets on, everyone was gathered in the conference room area.

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How Management Contributes to Toxic Workplaces

How Management Contributes to Toxic Workplaces

By Marnie Dobson Zimmerman, PhD

When Miranda arrived to work her swing shift at Walmart — from late afternoon to late evening — she often found there were not enough staff to manage the number of customers lined up, expecting service.

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Deteriorating Working Conditions in the VA Hospital System

Deteriorating Working Conditions in the VA Hospital System: Insights from Federal Employees at their Recent Union Conference

By Viviola Gómez Ortiz, PhD & Peter Schnall, MD, MPH

We were recently invited to give a workshop on work, stress and health at the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) national union conference held in Las Vegas in June. We attended the conference and conducted 2-hour workshops on Wednesday and Thursday, of the week of June 12th-16th. The workshops provided us with an opportunity to…

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APA-NIOSH Work, Stress and Health Conference

APA-NIOSH Work, Stress and Health Conference: Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities

By Marnie Dobson Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Every two years we attend the Work, Stress and Health conference where we present our own research and discuss our colleagues’ research, all focused on understanding and improving work and health.

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The Impact of Work on Life Expectancy in the U.S.

The Impact of Work on Life Expectancy in the U.S.

By Marnie Dobson Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Life Expectancy Falls in the United States: What does work have to do with it?

Except for cancer, death rates from heart disease and all other major causes of death (including diabetes, stroke and suicide) have increased. (CDC/NCHS) This is in stark contrast to other rich countries in Western Europe where mortality rates are lower than that of the U.S. for nearly every age group — and continue to decline.

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