Is Work Hour Mismatch Associated with Depression?

Selin Kim, Wonjeong Jeong, Sung In Jang, Eun Cheol Park, Sohee Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Many studies have reported noticeable increases in the proportion of employees working either relatively short or relatively long hours. Such trends have been accompanied by an increasing concern regarding work hour mismatches defined as a discrepancy between actual and preferred work hours. The aim of this study was to investigate association between work hour mismatch and depression. Methods: Data regarding work hour mismatches for 47,551 adults were extracted from the 2017 Korean Working Conditions Survey. The World Health Organization-Five Well-Being Index was used to measure depression. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the association between work hour mismatch and depression. Results: Men and women workers with work hour mismatch were more likely to have depression [underemployed males: odds ratio (OR) = 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.14–1.49, overemployed males: OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.18–1.40; underemployed females: OR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.20–1.56, overemployed females: OR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.02–1.23]. Underemployed workers, workers who worked more than 52 hours per week, and workers with a high income level, all had higher ORs for depression. The greater the discrepancy between actual and preferred work hours, the higher OR for depression among both underemployed and overemployed workers. Conclusions: A difference between actual and preferred work hours was associated with depression. Underemployed workers had a higher risk of depression than that of overemployed workers. As a work hour mismatch negatively affected workers' mental health, it is important to reduce work hours mismatches as well as shorten the absolute number of work hours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-101
Number of pages6
JournalSafety and Health at Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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