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  • 1.
    Bergman, Frida
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI). Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).
    Wennberg, Patrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Sörlin, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Olsson, Tommy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Increasing physical activity in officeworkers – the Inphact Treadmill study: a study protocol for a 13-month randomized controlled trial of treadmill workstations2015In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 15, article id 632Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Sedentary behaviour is an independent risk factor for mortality and morbidity, especially for type 2 diabetes. Since office work is related to long periods that are largely sedentary, it is of major importance to find ways for office workers to engage in light intensity physical activity (LPA). The Inphact Treadmill study aims to investigate the effects of installing treadmill workstations in offices compared to conventional workstations.

    Methods/Design: A two-arm, 13-month, randomized controlled trial (RCT) will be conducted. Healthy overweight and obese office workers (n = 80) with mainly sedentary tasks will be recruited from office workplaces in Umeå, Sweden. The intervention group will receive a health consultation and a treadmill desk, which they will use for at least one hour per day for 13 months. The control group will receive the same health consultation, but continue to work at their regular workstations. Physical activity and sedentary time during workdays and non-workdays as well as during working and non-working hours on workdays will be measured objectively using accelerometers (Actigraph and activPAL) at baseline and after 2, 6, 10, and 13 months of follow-up. Food intake will be recorded and metabolic and anthropometric variables, body composition, stress, pain, depression, anxiety, cognitive function, and functional magnetic resonance imaging will be measured at 3–5 time points during the study period. Interviews with participants from the intervention group will be performed at the end of the study.

    Discussion: This will be the first long-term RCT on the effects of treadmill workstations on objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time as well as other body functions and structures/morphology during working and non-working hours among office workers. This will provide further insight on the effects of active workstations on our health and could fill in some of the knowledge gaps regarding how we can reduce sedentary time in office environments.

  • 2.
    Bergman, Frida
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Mattson-Frost, Tove
    Jonasson, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Chorell, Elin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Sörlin, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Wennberg, Patrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Öhberg, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Ryberg, Mats
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Levine, James
    Olsson, Tommy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).
    Installing treadmill workstations in offices does little for cognitive performance and brain structure, despite a baseline association between sitting time and hippocampus volumeManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Bergman, Frida
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Wahlström, Viktoria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
    Stomby, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Otten, Julia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Lanthén, Ellen
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Medicine.
    Renklint, Rebecka
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Medicine.
    Waling, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food and Nutrition.
    Sörlin, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR). Danish Research Center for Magnetic Resonance, Centre for Functional and Diagnostic Imaging and Research, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark.
    Wennberg, Patrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Öhberg, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Levine, James A.
    Department of Endocrinology, The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA; Fondation IPSEN, Paris, France.
    Olsson, Tommy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Treadmill workstations in office workers who are overweight or obese: a randomised controlled trial2018In: The Lancet Public Health, ISSN 2468-2667, Vol. 3, no 11, article id e523-e535Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Treadmill workstations that enable office workers to walk on a treadmill while working at their computers might increase physical activity in offices, but long-term effects are unknown. We therefore investigated whether treadmill workstations in offices increased daily walking time.

    Methods: We did a randomised controlled trial of healthy office workers who were either overweight or obese. We recruited participants from 13 different companies, which comprised 17 offices, in Umeå, Sweden. We included people who were aged 40-67 years, had sedentary work tasks, and had a body-mass index (BMI) between 25 kg/m2 and 40 kg/m2. After the baseline measurement, we stratified participants by their BMI (25-30 kg/m2 and >30 to 40 kg/m2); subsequently, an external statistician randomly assigned these participants (1:1) to either the intervention group (who received treadmill workstations for optional use) or the control group (who continued to work at their sit-stand desks as usual). Participants in the intervention group received reminders in boosting emails sent out to them at four occasions during the study period. Researchers were masked to group assignment until after analysis of the primary outcome. After the baseline measurement, participants were not masked to group belongings. The primary outcome was total daily walking time at weekdays and weekends, measured at baseline, 2 months, 6 months, 10 months, and 13 months with the accelerometer activPAL (PAL Technologies, Glasgow, UK), which was worn on the thigh of participants for 24 h a day for 7 consecutive days. We used an intention-to-treat approach for our analyses. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01997970, and is closed to new participants.

    Findings: Between Nov 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, a total of 80 participants were recruited and enrolled (n=40 in both the intervention and control groups). Daily walking time during total time awake at weekdays increased between baseline and 13 months by 18 min (95% CI 9 to 26) in the intervention group and 1 min (-7 to 9) in the control group (difference 22 min [95% CI 7 to 37], pinteraction=0·00045); for weekend walking, the change from baseline to 13 months was 5 min (-8 to 18) in the intervention group and 8 min (-5 to 21) in the control group (difference -1 min [-19 to 17]; pinteraction=0·00045). Neither measure met our predetermined primary outcome of 30 min difference in total walking time between the intervention and control group, so the primary outcome of the trial was not met. One adverse event was reported in a participant who accidently stepped on their Achilles tendon.

    Interpretation: In a sedentary work environment, treadmill workstations result in a statistically significant but smaller-than-expected increase in daily walking time. Future studies need to investigate how increasing physical activity at work might have potentially compensatory effects on non-work activity.

  • 4.
    Bergman, Frida
    et al.
    Umeå University.
    Wahlström, Viktoria
    Umeå University.
    Wennberg, Patrik
    Umeå University.
    Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan
    Umeå University.
    Sörlin, Ann
    Umeå University.
    Öhberg, Fredrik
    Umeå University.
    Olsson, Tommy
    Umeå University.
    Increasing Physical Activity In Office Workers - An RCT Of Treadmill Workstations2018In: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, ISSN 0195-9131, E-ISSN 1530-0315, Vol. 50, no 5, p. 47-47Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    PURPOSE: Our primary hypothesis was that an intervention with treadmill workstations would increase time spent walking. Secondary hypotheses were a decrease in time spent sitting with a concomitant increase in time spent standing and in light intensity physical activity (LPA) leading to positive effects on body measurements and body composition.

    METHODS: The intervention group received a treadmill workstation at their office desk during 13 months. Daily time spent sitting, standing and walking and number of steps was measured with activPAL®. Daily time in LPA and MVPA was measured with Actigraph®. Body weight, BMI and waist circumference were measured according to standardized protocols. Dual X-ray Absorptiometry was used to estimate body composition. Mixed models was used for the statistical analysis, with group, day of week (weekday/ weekend), time point and gender as fixed effects and age as a covariate. p<0.05 was considered significant.

    RESULTS: Eighty participants were included. The intervention group significantly increased their time spent walking at all follow-ups, with a difference at 13 months of 22 minutes (p<0.01) and 1645 steps per day (p<0.05), respectively, versus controls. Concomitantly, they decreased their MVPA with 13 minutes per day (p<0.001) at weekdays at 13 months versus baseline. We also found a decrease in LPA with 19 minutes per day (p<0.05), and of 17 minutes per day for MVPA (p<0.001) at 13 months versus baseline at weekends. The control group increased their time spent sitting with 25 minutes per day (p<0.05) and decreased the time spent standing with 35 minutes per day at weekdays (p<0.001) compared to baseline. There was also a decrease in LPA with 14 minutes per day (p<0.01) and in MVPA with 6 minutes per day (p<0.01) versus baseline during weekdays, with a decrease in sitting time with 36 minutes (p<0.05) at weekends. There were no significant changes in body measurements or body composition.

    CONCLUSION: It is possible to increase daily walking time by introducing treadmill workstations at offices. A decreased MVPA within the intervention group may contribute to lack of effects on body measurements and body composition. It is therefore important that future interventions aim at both reducing sedentary time as well as increasing, or at least remaining, MVPA levels.

  • 5.
    Frykholm, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Klijn, Peter
    Saey, Didier
    van Hees, Hieronymus W. H.
    Stål, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
    Sandström, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Sörlin, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Maltais, François
    Nyberg, Andre
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Effect and feasibility of non-linear periodized resistance training in people with COPD: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial2019In: Trials, ISSN 1745-6215, E-ISSN 1745-6215, Vol. 20, no 1, article id 6Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: In people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), limb-muscle dysfunction is one of the most troublesome systemic manifestations of the disease, which at the functional level is evidenced by reduced strength and endurance of limb muscles. Improving limb-muscle function is an important therapeutic goal of COPD management, for which resistance training is recommended. However, current guidelines for resistance training in COPD mainly focus on improving muscle strength which only reflects one aspect of limb-muscle function and does not address the issue of reduced muscle endurance. The latter is of importance considering that the reduction in limb-muscle endurance often is greater than that of muscle weakness, and also, limb-muscle endurance seems to be closer related to walking capacity as well as arm function than to limb-muscle strength within this group of people. Thus, strategies targeting multiple aspects of the decreased muscle function are warranted to increase the possibility for an optimal effect for the individual patient. Periodized resistance training, which represents a planned variation of resistance training variables (i.e., volume, intensity, frequency, etc.), is one strategy that could be used to target limb-muscle strength as well as limb-muscle endurance within the same exercise regimen.

    METHODS: This is an international, multicenter, randomized controlled trial comparing the effect and feasibility of non-linear periodized resistance training to traditional non-periodized resistance training in people with COPD. Primary outcomes are dynamic limb-muscle strength and endurance. Secondary outcomes include static limb-muscle strength and endurance, functional performance, quality of life, dyspnea, intramuscular adaptations as well as the proportion of responders. Feasibility of the training programs will be assessed and compared on attendance rate, duration, satisfaction, drop-outs as well as occurrence and severity of any adverse events.

    DISCUSSION: The proposed trial will provide new knowledge to this research area by investigating and comparing the feasibility and effects of non-linear periodized resistance training compared to traditional non-periodized resistance training. If the former strategy produces larger physiological adaptations than non-periodized resistance training, this project may influence the prescription of resistance training in people with COPD.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, ID: NCT03518723 . Registered on 13 April 2018.

  • 6.
    Moshi, Haleluya
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, Physiotherapy Department, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Moshi, Tanzania.
    Sundelin, Gunnevi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Sahlen, Klas-Göran
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Sörlin, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Traumatic spinal cord injury in the north-east Tanzania: describing incidence, etiology and clinical outcomes retrospectively2017In: Global Health Action, ISSN 1654-9716, E-ISSN 1654-9880, Vol. 10, no 1, article id 1355604Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Causes, magnitude and consequences of traumatic spinal cord injury depend largely on geography, infrastructure, socioeconomic and cultural activities of a given region. There is a scarcity of literature on profile of traumatic spinal cord injury to inform prevention and rehabilitation of this health condition in African rural settings, particularly Tanzania. Objective: To describe the incidence, etiology and clinical outcomes of traumatic spinal cord injury and issues related to retrospective study in underdeveloped setting.

    Methods: Records for patients with traumatic spinal cord injury for five consecutive years (2010–2014) were obtained retrospectively from the admission wards and health records archives of the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center. Sociodemographic, cause, complications and patients’ condition on discharge were recorded and analyzed descriptively.

    Results: The admission books in the wards registered 288 new traumatic spinal cord injury cases from January 2010 to December 2014. Of the 288 cases registered in the books, 224 were males and 64 females with mean age 39.1(39.1 ± 16.3) years and the majority of individuals 196(68.1%) were aged between 16 and 45 years. A search of the hospital archives provided 213 full patient records in which the leading cause of injury was falls 104(48.8%) followed by road traffic accidents 73(34.3%). Cervical 81(39.9%) and lumbar 71(34.74%) spinal levels were the most affected. The annual incidence for the Kilimanjaro region (population 1,640,087) was estimated at more than 26 persons per million population. The most docu- mented complications were pressure ulcers 42(19.7%), respiratory complications 32(15.0%) and multiple complications 28(13.1%). The mean length of hospital stay was 64.2 ± 54.3 days and the mortality rate was 24.4%.

    Conclusion: Prevention of traumatic spinal cord injury in North-east Tanzania should consider falls (particularly from height) as the leading cause, targeting male teenagers and young adults. Pressure ulcers, respiratory complications, in-hospital mortality and availability of wheelchairs should be addressed. 

  • 7.
    Moshi, Haleluya
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Kilimanjaro Cristian Medical University College, Moshi, Tanzania.
    Sundelin, Gunnevi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Sahlén, Klas-Göran
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Anthea, Rhoda
    Sörlin, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Coping Resources for Persons With Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury in A Tanzania Rural Area2018In: Global Journal of Health Science, ISSN 1916-9736, E-ISSN 1916-9744, Vol. 10, no 5, p. 138-153Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Persons with traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) in Tanzanian rural settings face a variety of geographical and socioeconomic challenges that make life almost impossible for them. However, some have managed to live relatively long lives despite these difficult conditions. This study aimed at exploring secrets behind successful lives of persons with TSCI in typical resource-constrained rural Tanzanian settings.

    METHODS: A modified constructivist grounded theory was employed for the analysis of data from 10 individuals who have lived between 7 and 28 years with TSCI in typical Tanzanian rural area. The 10 were purposively selected from 15 interviews that were conducted in 2011. The analysis followed the constructivist approach in which data was first open and axial coded, prior to categories being constructed. The categories were frequently reviewed in light of the available literature to determine the over-arching core category that described or connected the rest.

    RESULTS: Nine categories (identified as internal and external coping resources) were constructed. The internal coping resources were: secured in God, increase in awareness on health risk, problem-solving skills and social skills. External coping resources were: having a reliable family, varying support from the community, a matter of possession and left without means for mobility. Acceptance was later identified as a core category that determines identification and utilization of the rest of the coping resources.

    CONCLUSION: Persons with traumatic spinal cord injury can survive for a relatively long time despite the hostile environment. Coping with these environments requires the employment of various coping resources, acceptance being the most important.

  • 8.
    Moshi, Haleluya
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Sundelin, Gunnevi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Sahlén, Klas-Göran
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Sörlin, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Incidence of traumatic spinal cord injury and prevalence of medical complications among hospitalized patients at Kilimanjaro: a one year prospective studyManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Moshi, Haleluya
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Sundelin, Gunnevi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Sahlén, Klas-Göran
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Sörlin, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Quality of life of persons with traumatic spinal cord injury in rural Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: a community surveyManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Sörlin, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Health and the elusive gender equality: Can the impact of gender equality on health be measured?2011Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: All over the world men and women show different health patterns, and therecan be many and various reasons for these differences. This thesis therefore evaluates theimpact of gender equality on health. To do this, we must be able to measure gender equality.In this thesis, we develop two new measurements of gender equality and evaluate the relationshipbetween gender equality and health.

    Methods: Two cross-sectional studies, one register-based and one survey study, are used tocompare different measurements of gender equality and different measurements of health,and the relationship between them. Differences between men and women in relation to healthoutcome are also discussed in the thesis. The register study, comprising 1 097 202 individuals,is based on public registers and includes information on workplace, income, sickness absence,full-time/part-time work, level of education, parental leave and temporary parental leave.A gender equality measurement, the Organizational Gender Gap Index or OGGI, was constructedand 123 companies in two sectors were ranked using the index. Employees in 21 of the mostand least gender-equal companies were invited to participate in a survey. A second genderequality index was constructed based on respondents’ own reports regarding gender equalityin their partner relationship. The variables measured were income, full-time/part-time work,educational level, and responsibilities for and sharing of household duties and parental leave.Both indices were evaluated using the single question: How gender equal is your workplace/your relationship with your partner? The four measurements were dichotomized and testedfor a relationship to health. Health was measured by three different measurements: registerbasedsickness absence, self-reported sickness absence in the past year, and self-rated health.

    Results: The thesis has produced two new measurements of gender equality, described above.On gender equality in the partner relationship, we found a difference between men and women.Men perceive higher gender equality than they report, while women report more gender equalitythan they perceive. When it comes to gender equality at work, we found that employees perceivetheir company to be more gender equal than the OGGI index shows. This thesis confirms thefindings that men have better health than women regardless of measurement. However, inthis study we also found that increased gender equality decreases these differences. If employeesperceive their company to be gender equal, they have higher odds of rating their health asgood, and this is especially so for women.

    Conclusion: This thesis supports the hypothesis that differences in health between men andwomen can be related to a lack of gender equality. When men and women have differentpossibilities and power to shape society and their own lives, their health will be affected throughembodiment of both biological and sociological determinants in accordance with the eco-socialtheory. Increased gender equality will decrease the differences in health between men andwomen through convergence. The theory of convergence explains why men and women areaffected differently by greater gender equality. Greater gender equality will also decrease thesocial injustice between men and women and improve justice in accordance with the theoryof justice to gender.The differences found between the indices and the single question on perceived genderequality make clear the need for “hard facts” as an complement to people’s own views on gender equality.

  • 11.
    Sörlin, Ann
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Bergman, Frida
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Renklint, Rebecka
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Olsson, Tommy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Edin, Kerstin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Challenges and benefits during long-term use of treadmill workstations to decrease sedentary behavior at workManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Sörlin, Ann
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Lindholm, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Ng, Nawi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Öhman, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Gender equality in couples and self-rated health: a survey study evaluating measurements of gender equality and its impact on health2011In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 10, no Art.nr. 37Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Men and women have different patterns of health. These differences between the sexes present a challenge to the field of public health. The question why women experience more health problems than men despite their longevity has been discussed extensively, with both social and biological theories being offered as plausible explanations. In this article, we focus on how gender equality in a partnership might be associated with the respondents' perceptions of health.

    Methods: This study was a cross-sectional survey with 1400 respondents. We measured gender equality using two different measures: 1) a self-reported gender equality index, and 2) a self-perceived gender equality question. The aim of comparison of the self-reported gender equality index with the self-perceived gender equality question was to reveal possible disagreements between the normative discourse on gender equality and daily practice in couple relationships. We then evaluated the association with health, measured as self-rated health (SRH). With SRH dichotomized into 'good' and 'poor', logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with the outcome. For the comparison between the self-reported gender equality index and self-perceived gender equality, kappa statistics were used.

    Results: Associations between gender equality and health found in this study vary with the type of gender equality measurement. Overall, we found little agreement between the self-reported gender equality index and self-perceived gender equality. Further, the patterns of agreement between self-perceived and self-reported gender equality were quite different for men and women: men perceived greater gender equality than they reported in the index, while women perceived less gender equality than they reported. The associations to health were depending on gender equality measurement used.

    Conclusions: Men and women perceive and report gender equality differently. This means that it is necessary not only to be conscious of the methods and measurements used to quantify men's and women's opinions of gender equality, but also to be aware of the implications for health outcomes.

  • 13.
    Sörlin, Ann
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Öhman, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Blomstedt, Yulia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Stenlund, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Lars, Lindholm
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Measuring the gender gap in organizations2011In: Gender in Management, ISSN 1754-2413, E-ISSN 1754-2421, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 275-288Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Sörlin, Ann
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Öhman, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Lindholm, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Sickness absence in gender-equal companies: a register study at organizational level2011In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 11, p. 548-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The differences in sickness absence between men and women in Sweden have attracted a great deal of interest nationally in the media and among policymakers over a long period. The fact that women have much higher levels of sickness absence has been explained in various ways. These explanations are contextual and one of the theories points to the lack of gender equality as an explanation. In this study, we evaluate the impact of gender equality on health at organizational level. Gender equality is measured by an index ranking companies at organizational level; health is measured as days on sickness benefit.

    Methods: Gender equality was measured using the Organizational Gender Gap Index or OGGI, which is constructed on the basis of six variables accessible in Swedish official registers. Each variable corresponds to a key word illustrating the interim objectives of the "National Plan for Gender Equality", implemented by the Swedish Parliament in 2006. Health is measured by a variable, days on sickness benefit, also accessible in the same registers.

    Result: We found significant associations between company gender equality and days on sickness benefit. In gender-equal companies, the risk for days on sickness benefit was 1.7 (95% CI 1.6-1.8) higher than in gender-unequal companies. The differences were greater for men than for women: OR 1.8 (95% CI 1.7-2.0) compared to OR 1.4 (95% CI 1.3-1.5).

    Conclusions: Even though employees at gender-equal companies had more days on sickness benefit, the differences between men and women in this measure were smaller in gender-equal companies. Gender equality appears to alter health patterns, converging the differences between men and women.

  • 15.
    Sörlin, Ann
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Öhman, Ann
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Ng, Nawi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Lindholm, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Can the impact of gender equality on health be measured? a cross-sectional study comparing measures based on register data with individual survey-based data2012In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 795-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate potential associations between gender equality at work and self-rated health. METHODS: 2861 employees in 21 companies were invited to participate in a survey. The mean response rate was 49.2%. The questionnaire contained 65 questions, mainly on gender equality and health. Two logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess associations between (i) self-rated health and a register-based company gender equality index (OGGI), and (ii) self-rated health and self-rated gender equality at work. RESULTS: Even though no association was found between the OGGI and health, women who rated their company as "completely equal" or "quite equal" had higher odds of reporting "good health" compared to women who perceived their company as "not equal" (OR = 2.8, 95% confidence interval = 1.4 -- 5.5 and OR = 2.73, 95% CI = 1.6-4.6). Although not statistically significant, we observed the same trends in men. The results were adjusted for age, highest education level, income, full or part-time employment, and type of company based on the OGGI. CONCLUSIONS: No association was found between gender equality in companies, measured by register-based index (OGGI), and health. However, perceived gender equality at work positively affected women's self-rated health but not men's. Further investigations are necessary to determine whether the results are fully credible given the contemporary health patterns and positions in the labour market of women and men or whether the results are driven by selection patterns.

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