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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 17, Issue 14 (July-2 2020) – 352 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) For the last two decades, the annual suicide rate within the United Kingdom (UK) has remained [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Drought, Climate Change, and Dryland Wheat Yield Response: An Econometric Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5264; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145264 - 21 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Agriculture has been identified as one of the most vulnerable sectors affected by climate change. In the present study, we investigate the impact of climatic change on dryland wheat yield in the northwest of Iran for the future time horizon of 2041–2070. The [...] Read more.
Agriculture has been identified as one of the most vulnerable sectors affected by climate change. In the present study, we investigate the impact of climatic change on dryland wheat yield in the northwest of Iran for the future time horizon of 2041–2070. The Just and Pope production function is applied to assess the impact of climate change on dryland wheat yield and yield risk for the period of 1991–2016. The Statistical Downscaling Model (SDSM) is used to generate climate parameters from General Circulation Model (GCM) outputs. The results show that minimum temperature is negatively related to average yield in the linear model while the relationship is positive in the non-linear model. An increase in precipitation increases the mean yield in either model. The maximum temperature has a positive effect on the mean yield in the linear model, while this impact is negative in the non-linear model. Drought has an adverse impact on yield levels in both models. The results also indicate that maximum temperature, precipitation, and drought are positively related to yield variability, but minimum temperature is negatively associated with yield variability. The findings also reveal that yield variability is expected to increase in response to future climate scenarios. Given these impacts of temperature on rain-fed wheat crop and its increasing vulnerability to climatic change, policy-makers should support research into and development of wheat varieties that are resistant to temperature variations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future and Feature Paper in Environment and Applied Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle
Correlation and Reliability Analyses among the Upper Cervical Rotation-Flexion Test, Upper Cervical Flexion-Extension Test, and Upper Cervical Flexion Angle Measurement Using Radiography
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5262; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145262 - 21 Jul 2020
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Abstract
(1) Background: The cervical rotation-flexion test is one method of measuring the range of motion of the upper cervical spine; however, this test has not been investigated in detail. The aim of this study was to investigate the reliability and concurrent validity of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The cervical rotation-flexion test is one method of measuring the range of motion of the upper cervical spine; however, this test has not been investigated in detail. The aim of this study was to investigate the reliability and concurrent validity of the upper cervical rotation-flexion test. (2) Methods: Twenty-five healthy individuals (13 women and 12 men) participated in this study. The participants underwent radiography, the upper cervical flexion-extension test, and the upper cervical rotation-flexion test in a sitting position while wearing a cervical goniometer to measure the upper cervical flexion angle. Three experienced physical therapists administered the upper cervical rotation-flexion test using the cervical device, twice for each participant. Inter-rater and intra-rater reliabilities were evaluated using the intraclass correlation coefficient (95% confidence interval). (3) Results: The inter-rater and intra-rater reliability values of the total scores were excellent. The results of the upper cervical rotation-flexion test significantly correlated with those of the radiographic evaluation of the upper cervical flexion angle (r = 0.80, p < 0.001) and those of the upper cervical flexion-extension test (r = 0.77, p < 0.001). Significant correlations among the three test results were observed. (4) Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that the upper cervical rotation-flexion test is meaningful for independently measuring the upper cervical flexion angle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Open AccessArticle
Social Networks’ Engagement During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Spain: Health Media vs. Healthcare Professionals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5261; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145261 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 591
Abstract
An increased use of social networks is one of the most far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from the traditional media, as the main drivers of social communication in crisis situations, individual profiles have emerged supported by social networks, which have had [...] Read more.
An increased use of social networks is one of the most far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from the traditional media, as the main drivers of social communication in crisis situations, individual profiles have emerged supported by social networks, which have had a similar impact to the more specialized communication media. This is the hypothesis of the research presented, which is focused on health communication and based on a virtual ethnography methodology with the use of social metrics. The aim is to understand the relationship established between the population in general and digital media in particular through the measurement of engagement. In this regard, a comparative study was carried out that describes this phenomenon over a period of six months on three social networks: YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, with a sample composed of specialized health media versus healthcare professionals. The results point to a new communications model that opens up a new space for agents whose content has a degree of engagement comparable to and even exceeding that of digital media specialized in health communication. The conclusions show that the crisis of the pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the communication sector, creating new challenges for the communication industry, media professionals, and higher education institutions related to market demands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Communication, Digital Media, and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Sociocultural Influences, Drive for Thinness, Drive for Muscularity, and Body Dissatisfaction among Korean Undergraduates
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5260; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145260 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 363
Abstract
For many years, body dissatisfaction was considered a western phenomenon, and was studied mostly in Caucasian women. Recent studies, however, suggest that these issues are also present in men and in other ethnic groups. This research investigated the differential effects of various sociocultural [...] Read more.
For many years, body dissatisfaction was considered a western phenomenon, and was studied mostly in Caucasian women. Recent studies, however, suggest that these issues are also present in men and in other ethnic groups. This research investigated the differential effects of various sociocultural pressures transmitted from the media, one’s parents, and one’s peers on the drives for thinness and muscularity, and body dissatisfaction among 1125 Korean college students (56% male) using structural equation modeling. The results indicate that, after controlling for body mass index and exercise, media pressures exerted the largest effects on participants’ body ideals and, in turn, body dissatisfaction across both genders (β = 0.44, and 0.30, p < 0.05, for females and males, respectively). This study’s results also indicate that there are considerable gender differences in this relationship. Specifically, the results show that parental and media pressure had significant indirect relationships with body dissatisfaction via the drive for thinness among females, while peer and media pressures had significant indirect relationships with body dissatisfaction via the drive for muscularity among males. As body dissatisfaction is known to significantly affect an individual’s mental and physical health, future research needs to identify relevant influential factors in this area, as well as the paths they have leading to increased body dissatisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health and Well-Being in Adolescence: Environment and Behavior)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating Cumulative Exposures among 3- to 4-Year-Old Children Using Wearable Ultrafine Particle Sensors and Language Environment Devices: A Pilot and Feasibility Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5259; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145259 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 358
Abstract
Interdisciplinary approaches are needed to measure the additive or multiplicative impacts of chemical and non-chemical stressors on child development outcomes. The lack of interdisciplinary approaches to environmental health and child development has led to a gap in the development of effective intervention strategies. [...] Read more.
Interdisciplinary approaches are needed to measure the additive or multiplicative impacts of chemical and non-chemical stressors on child development outcomes. The lack of interdisciplinary approaches to environmental health and child development has led to a gap in the development of effective intervention strategies. It is hypothesized that a broader systems approach can support more effective interventions over time. To achieve these goals, detailed study protocols are needed. Researchers in child development typically focus on psychosocial stressors. Less attention is paid to chemical and non-chemical stressors and how the interaction of these stressors may impact child development. This feasibility study aims to bridge the gap between child development and environmental epidemiology research by trialing novel methods of gathering ultrafine particle data with a wearable air sensor, while simultaneously gathering language and noise data with the Language Environment Analysis (LENA) system. Additionally, psychosocial data (e.g., parenting quality, caregiver depression, and household chaos) was gathered from parent reports. Child participants (age 3–4 years) completed cognitive tasks to assess self-regulation and receptive language skills, and provided a biospecimen analyzed for inflammatory biomarkers. Data collection was completed at two time points, roughly corresponding to fall and spring. Twenty-six participants were recruited for baseline data, and 11 participants completed a follow-up session. Preliminary results indicate that it is feasible to gather personal Particulate Matter (PM2.5), language, and noise data, cognitive assessments, and biospecimens from our sample of 3-4-year-old children. While there are obstacles to overcome when working with this age group, future studies can benefit from adapting lessons learned regarding recruitment strategies, study design, and protocol implementation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Does It Matter Who Exhibits More Green Purchase Behavior of Cosmetic Products in Asian Culture? A Multi-Group Analysis Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145258 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 394
Abstract
This study attempts to investigate the moderating effect of gender on value-belief-norm relationships. In addition, this study aims to investigate the factors that affect green purchase behavior of cosmetics products. Particularly, this study investigates the causal relationships between values and pro-environmental beliefs, pro-environmental [...] Read more.
This study attempts to investigate the moderating effect of gender on value-belief-norm relationships. In addition, this study aims to investigate the factors that affect green purchase behavior of cosmetics products. Particularly, this study investigates the causal relationships between values and pro-environmental beliefs, pro-environmental beliefs and personal norms and personal norms and green purchase behavior. An online survey was carried out which yielded 240 usable responses among which 79 responses were obtained from males and 161 from females. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling, partial least square (PLS-SEM) approach and multi-group analysis (MGA) technique. Results revealed that all direct relationships were supported by the data. It was also found that gender moderates the relationships between altruistic values and pro-environmental beliefs, pro-environmental beliefs and personal norms and personal norms and green purchase behavior. Nevertheless, gender did not moderate the link between hedonic value and pro-environmental beliefs. This study contributes to the existing literature by considering gender as a moderator, which is comparatively new in the green purchase behavior literature. In addition, this study examines few new linkages: more specifically, incorporating hedonic value in value-belief link and adapting value-belief-norm (VBN) theory in measuring consumers’ green purchase behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumption in Environmental Issues: A Global Perspective)
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Open AccessArticle
Do Sports Clubs Contribute to the Accumulation of Regional Social Capital?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5257; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145257 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 380
Abstract
Social capital (SC) affects quality of life, sport behaviours and health in individual and community context. The aim was to analyse how sports activity (SA) contributes to SC accumulation in a post-transformation country. A combination of four longitudinal, nationwide datasets was used. Instrumental [...] Read more.
Social capital (SC) affects quality of life, sport behaviours and health in individual and community context. The aim was to analyse how sports activity (SA) contributes to SC accumulation in a post-transformation country. A combination of four longitudinal, nationwide datasets was used. Instrumental variable method was applied. Results show that in 19+ Poles, on a regional level, SA improves SC. This suggest that sports clubs and at least some types of sports infrastructure can constitute a valid tool for social policies aiming at improving social involvement. The self-triggering character of SA is a valuable asset for social impact regionally and beyond. It is important to estimate the changes in a long-term perspective, due to the inertness of the SC. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Fine Particulate Matter and Gaseous Compounds in Kitchens and Outdoor Air of Different Dwellings
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5256; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145256 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Passive diffusion tubes for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbonyls and low volume particulate matter (PM2.5) samplers were used simultaneously in kitchens and outdoor air of four dwellings. PM2.5 filters were analysed for their carbonaceous content (organic and elemental carbon, [...] Read more.
Passive diffusion tubes for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbonyls and low volume particulate matter (PM2.5) samplers were used simultaneously in kitchens and outdoor air of four dwellings. PM2.5 filters were analysed for their carbonaceous content (organic and elemental carbon, OC and EC) by a thermo-optical technique and for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) and plasticisers by GC-MS. The morphology and chemical composition of selected PM2.5 samples were characterised by SEM-EDS. The mean indoor PM2.5 concentrations ranged from 14 µg m−3 to 30 µg m−3, while the outdoor levels varied from 18 µg m−3 to 30 µg m−3. Total carbon represented up to 40% of the PM2.5 mass. In general, the indoor OC/EC ratios were higher than the outdoor values. Indoor-to-outdoor ratios higher than 1 were observed for VOCs, carbonyls and plasticisers. PAH levels were much higher in the outdoor air. The particulate material was mainly composed of soot aggregates, fly ashes and mineral particles. The hazard quotients associated with VOC inhalation suggested a low probability of non-cancer effects, while the cancer risk was found to be low, but not negligible. Residential exposure to PAHs was dominated by benzo[a]pyrene and has shown to pose an insignificant cancer risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Geology)
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Open AccessArticle
Nurses’ Self-Assessment of Caring Behaviors in Nurse–Patient Interactions: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145255 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 335
Abstract
Nurse–patient interactions based on caring behaviors ensure better working conditions and better-quality healthcare. The aim of this quantitative study is to examine how nurses self-assess the frequency of applying caring behaviors in nurse–patient interactions and to identify the differences in the application frequency [...] Read more.
Nurse–patient interactions based on caring behaviors ensure better working conditions and better-quality healthcare. The aim of this quantitative study is to examine how nurses self-assess the frequency of applying caring behaviors in nurse–patient interactions and to identify the differences in the application frequency of caring behaviors in relation to work experience and education level. The respondents were Bachelor of Science (BSc) nurses and nurses with basic training (VET) employed in different clinical departments of the Clinical Hospital Center in Croatia. The survey used the “Caring Nurse–Patient Interactions Scale (Nurse Version)”. The respondents assessed the caring behaviors from the subscale “needs” as the most frequently applied (median (Me): 4.7; interquartile range (IQR): 4.4–4.9), while the least frequently applied were the procedures from the subscale “sensitivity” (Me: 3.8; IQR: 3.2–4.3). The VET nurses reported applying caring behaviors to the subscales “hope” (p < 0.001), “problem-solving” (p = 0.003), and “environment” (p = 0.021) more frequently than BSc nurses did. Compared with less experienced respondents, the respondents with more than 30 years of work experience applied the caring behaviors on the subscales “sensitivity” (p = 0.009), “expression of emotions” (p = 0.001), “problem-solving” (p = 0.008), and especially “humanism” and “spirituality” (p < 0.001) more frequently. The results indicate that respondents are more focused on applying skills or carrying out a task than on caring behaviors which is about demonstrating compassion, loving kindness, and relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nursing Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Differences in the Disaster-Preparedness Behaviors of the General Public and Professionals: Evidence from Sichuan Province, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5254; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145254 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 332
Abstract
Sichuan Province in China is one of the world’s most earthquake-stricken areas. Wenchuan and Lushan Counties in Sichuan and other earthquake-stricken areas contain rural settlements subject to geological disasters and poverty. However, there is little research on the characteristics of disaster-preparedness behavior and [...] Read more.
Sichuan Province in China is one of the world’s most earthquake-stricken areas. Wenchuan and Lushan Counties in Sichuan and other earthquake-stricken areas contain rural settlements subject to geological disasters and poverty. However, there is little research on the characteristics of disaster-preparedness behavior and whether these differ between professionals and the general public in rural settlements with high earthquake risk and poverty. Using survey data from 327 farmers in rural settlements affected by major earthquakes in Wenchuan and Lushan Counties, independent-sample t-tests and chi-squared tests were used to test for differences in the disaster-preparedness behaviors of professionals and the general public. The results show that (1) there were significant differences in emergency-disaster preparedness, knowledge and skills preparedness and overall disaster-prevention preparedness, and (2) there was no significant difference in physical disaster-prevention preparation. Based on these results, the study suggests policy directions for regional poverty alleviation, disaster prevention and reduction and disaster management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Evaluation of Dental Implant Failure among Healthy and Well-Controlled Diabetic Patients—A 3-Year Retrospective Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5253; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145253 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 374
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus is known to compromise the various aspects of homeostasis, including the immune response and the composition of oral microflora. One of the oral manifestations of diabetes mellitus is tooth loss and the survival rate of dental implants chosen as a treatment [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus is known to compromise the various aspects of homeostasis, including the immune response and the composition of oral microflora. One of the oral manifestations of diabetes mellitus is tooth loss and the survival rate of dental implants chosen as a treatment modality for its rehabilitation is controversial. The current study aims to evaluate and compare the failure rate of dental implants between well-controlled diabetic and healthy patients. A retrospective study of case-control design was conceptualized with 121 well-controlled diabetic and 136 healthy individuals. Records of subjects who had undergone oral rehabilitation with dental implants between the periods of January 2013 to January 2016 were retrieved. Post-operative evaluation was carried out for all patients for about three years to assess the immediate and long-term success of the procedure. From a total of 742 dental implants, 377 were placed in well-controlled diabetic patients (case group) and 365 in healthy subjects (control group). A comparable (9.81%), but non-significant (p = 0.422) failure rate was found in the case group in comparison to the control group (9.04%). A non-significant (p = 0.392) raised number (4.98%) of failure cases were reported among females in comparison to males (4.44%). In respect to arch, the mandibular posterior region was reported as the highest failure cases (3.09%; p = 0.411), with 2.29% of cases reported in the mandibular anterior (p = 0.430) and maxillary posterior (p = 0.983) each. The maxillary anterior region was found to have the least number (1.75%; p = 0.999) of failure cases. More (4.98%; p = 0.361) cases were reported to fail during the functional loading stage in contrast to osseointegration (4.44%; p = 0.365). A well-controlled diabetic status does not impose any additional risk for individuals undergoing dental implant therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Dental Implants on Oral Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Associated with the Perception of Risk and Knowledge of Contracting the SARS-Cov-2 among Adults in Bangladesh: Analysis of Online Surveys
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5252; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145252 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 677
Abstract
This study investigated the perception and awareness of risk among adult participants in Bangladesh about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). During the lockdown era in Bangladesh at two different time points, from 26−31 March 2020 (early lockdown) and 11−16 May 2020 (late lockdown), two [...] Read more.
This study investigated the perception and awareness of risk among adult participants in Bangladesh about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). During the lockdown era in Bangladesh at two different time points, from 26−31 March 2020 (early lockdown) and 11−16 May 2020 (late lockdown), two self-administered online surveys were conducted on 1005 respondents (322 and 683 participants, respectively) via social media. To examine risk perception and knowledge-related factors towards COVID-19, univariate and multiple linear regression models were employed. Scores of mean knowledge (8.4 vs. 8.1, p = 0.022) and perception of risk (11.2 vs. 10.6, p < 0.001) differed significantly between early and late lockdown. There was a significant decrease in perceived risk scores for contracting SARS-Cov-2 [β = −0.85, 95%CI: −1.31, −0.39], while knowledge about SARS-Cov-2 decreased insignificantly [β = −0.22, 95%CI: −0.46, 0.03] in late lockdown compared with early lockdown period. Self-quarantine was a common factor linked to increased perceived risks and knowledge of SARS-Cov-2 during the lockdown period. Any effort to increase public awareness and comprehension of SARS-Cov-2 in Bangladesh will then offer preference to males, who did not practice self-quarantine and are less worried about the propagation of this kind of virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of the Environmental and Socio-Economic Characteristics of Counties with a High Asthma Burden to Focus Asthma Action in Utah
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145251 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Rising adult asthma prevalence (AAP) rates and asthma emergency room (AER) visits constitute a large burden on public health in Utah (UT), a high-altitude state in the Great Basin Desert, USA. This warrants an investigation of the characteristics of the counties with the [...] Read more.
Rising adult asthma prevalence (AAP) rates and asthma emergency room (AER) visits constitute a large burden on public health in Utah (UT), a high-altitude state in the Great Basin Desert, USA. This warrants an investigation of the characteristics of the counties with the highest asthma burden within UT to improve allocation of health resources and for planning. The relations between several predictor environmental, health behavior and socio-economic variables and two health outcome variables, AAP and AER visits, were investigated for UT’s 29 counties. Non-parametric statistical comparison tests, correlation and linear regression analysis were used to determine the factors significantly associated with AER visits and AAP. Regression kriging with Utah small area data (USAD) as well as socio-economic and pollution data enabled local Moran’s I cluster analysis and the investigation of moving correlations between health outcomes and risk factors. Results showed the importance of desert/mining dust and socio-economic status as AAP and AER visits were greatest in the south of the state, highlighting a marked north–south divide in terms of these factors within the state. USAD investigations also showed marked differences in pollution and socio-economic status associated with AAP within the most populous northern counties. Policies and interventions need to address socio-economic inequalities within counties and between the north and south of the state. Fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM10) particulate matter monitors should be installed in towns in central and southern UT to monitor air quality as these are sparse, but in the summer, air quality can be worse here. Further research into spatiotemporal variation in air quality within UT is needed to inform public health interventions such as expanding clean fuel programs and targeted land-use policies. Efforts are also needed to examine barriers to routine asthma care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Sense of Coherence, Health, Well-Being, and Work Satisfaction before and after Implementing Activity-Based Workplaces
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5250; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145250 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 356
Abstract
Activity-based workplaces (ABWs) are implemented with possible implications for health, well-being, and work satisfaction in the workplace. Drawing on the theoretical framework, i.e., sense of coherence (SOC), the aim was to investigate how indicators pf SOC—meaningfulness, manageability and comprehensibility—are associated with, or function [...] Read more.
Activity-based workplaces (ABWs) are implemented with possible implications for health, well-being, and work satisfaction in the workplace. Drawing on the theoretical framework, i.e., sense of coherence (SOC), the aim was to investigate how indicators pf SOC—meaningfulness, manageability and comprehensibility—are associated with, or function as barriers or facilitators for, health, well-being and work satisfaction during relocation to an ABW. We followed the implementation of ABWs at the Swedish Transport Administration (2018–2019). Questionnaires were administered before (n = 536), 3 months (n = 409) and 9 months (n = 373) after relocation. Focus group interviews (15) were conducted before and after. Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA and content analysis. Relocation to an ABW was associated with a reduced work satisfaction (physical p < 0.001; psychosocial p < 0.001), and minor changes in health and occupational well-being during relocation (p > 0.001). The reduction in work satisfaction was smaller among employees with high meaningfulness in the relocation process (p < 0.001). All SOC indicators were positively associated with overall health, well-being and work satisfaction (p < 0.001). Interviews suggested that meaningfulness was facilitated by participation in the presented activities and that communication before relocation was crucial. The results indicate that organizations implementing ABWs should promote perceived meaningfulness in the process to mitigate possible declines in satisfaction with the physical and psychosocial work environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Interventions)
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Open AccessArticle
Social Return on Investment Analysis of the Health Precinct Community Hub for Chronic Conditions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5249; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145249 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Local governments and Health Boards are seeking to develop integrated services to promote well-being. Social participation and physical activity are key in promoting well-being for older people. The Health Precinct is a community hub in North Wales that people with chronic conditions are [...] Read more.
Local governments and Health Boards are seeking to develop integrated services to promote well-being. Social participation and physical activity are key in promoting well-being for older people. The Health Precinct is a community hub in North Wales that people with chronic conditions are referred to through social prescribing. To improve community-based assets there is a need to understand and evidence the social value they generate. Data collection took place October 2017–September 2019. Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis was used to evaluate the Health Precinct. Stakeholders included participants aged 55+, participants’ families, staff, the National Health Service and local government. Participants’ health and well-being data were collected upon referral and four months later using the EQ-5D-5L, Campaign to End Loneliness Scale and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Family members completed questionnaires at four months. Baseline data were collected for 159 participants. Follow-up data were available for 66 participants and 38 family members. The value of inputs was £55,389 (attendance fees, staffing, equipment, overheads), and the value of resulting benefits was £281,010; leading to a base case SROI ratio of £5.07 of social value generated for every £1 invested. Sensitivity analysis yielded estimates of between 2.60:1 and 5.16:1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Referral and Social Prescribing for Physical Activity)
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Open AccessArticle
Suppression of Rice Blast by Bacterial Strains Isolated from Cultivated Soda Saline-Sodic Soils
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5248; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145248 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Rice blast caused by Magnaporthe oryzae is one of the most serious rice diseases worldwide. Biological control is gaining popularity as a promising method for the control of this disease; however, more effective microbial strains with strong adaptability in rice fields need to [...] Read more.
Rice blast caused by Magnaporthe oryzae is one of the most serious rice diseases worldwide. Biological control is gaining popularity as a promising method for the control of this disease; however, more effective microbial strains with strong adaptability in rice fields need to be identified. Here, we report for the first time the successful identification of biocontrol bacterial strains from frozen soils of the soda saline-sodic land. We isolated 82 bacterial strains from rice fields in the western Songnen Plain of China, one of the three major soda saline soils in the world. Five of the isolated strains exhibited strong inhibition to M. oryzae growth. The potential strains were identified as Bacillus safensis JLS5, Pseudomonas koreensis JLS8, Pseudomonas saponiphila JLS10, Stenotrophomonas rhizophila JLS11 and Bacillus tequilensis JLS12, respectively, by 16s RNA gene sequence analysis. The antagonistic assay and the artificial inoculation tests showed that JLS5 and JLS12 could effectively inhibit conidial germination and pathogenicity of the rice blast fungus, both preventively and curatively. The suppression of pathogenicity was further confirmed by greenhouse experiments, showing the effectiveness of JLS5 and JLS12 as a potential biological control agents of M. oryzae. The potential application of these cold-tolerant strains for rice blast control in cold regions is discussed. Our data suggest that soda saline-sodic soils are a rich source for biocontrol strain isolation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogen-Microbiota Interaction: Reading the Fine Print)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Chinese Seafarers’ Job Demands on Turnover Intention: The Role of Fun at Work
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5247; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145247 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 339
Abstract
This study examines how an occupational commitment and a fun work environment serve as important mechanisms that influence the job demands–turnover intentions relationship. On the basis of the job demands–resources model, the study explored the relationship between job demands, occupational commitment, fun at [...] Read more.
This study examines how an occupational commitment and a fun work environment serve as important mechanisms that influence the job demands–turnover intentions relationship. On the basis of the job demands–resources model, the study explored the relationship between job demands, occupational commitment, fun at work, and turnover intention. The hypotheses were (1) that job demands would be positively associated with predicted turnover intention; (2) that occupational commitment would mediate the job demands–turnover intention link and (3) that a fun environment would moderate the relationship between job demands and occupational commitment and between job demands and turnover intention. The study sampled 294 seafarers using an online survey, and applied descriptive, correlative analysis and the PROCESS Macro to test the hypotheses. Findings provide preliminary support for the three hypotheses, and contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism determining seafarers’ turnover intention. The results suggest the importance of holding appropriate group activities on-board to help seafarers alleviate fatigue and stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technical and Scientific Research on Occupational Health and Safety)
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Open AccessArticle
Risk Interactions of Coronavirus Infection across Age Groups after the Peak of COVID-19 Epidemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5246; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145246 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 388
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has incurred significant disease burden worldwide, particularly on the elderly population. This study aims to explore how risks of coronavirus infection interact across age groups using data from South Korea. Methods: Daily new COVID-19 cases from 10 March to [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has incurred significant disease burden worldwide, particularly on the elderly population. This study aims to explore how risks of coronavirus infection interact across age groups using data from South Korea. Methods: Daily new COVID-19 cases from 10 March to 30 April 2020 were scraped from online open sources. A multivariate vector autoregressive model for time series of count data was used to examine the risk interactions across age groups. Case counts from previous days were included as predictors to dynamically examine the change of risk patterns. Results: In South Korea, the risk of coronavirus infection among elderly people was significantly affected by other age groups. An increase in virus infection among people aged 20–39 was associated with a double risk of infection among elderly people. Meanwhile, an increase in virus infection among elderly people was also significantly associated with risks of infection among other age groups. The risks of infection among younger people were relatively unaffected by that of other age groups. Conclusions: Protecting elderly people from coronavirus infection could not only reduce the risk of infection among themselves but also ameliorate the risks of virus infection among other age groups. Such interventions should be effective and for the long term. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Voices of Community Partners: Perspectives Gained from Conversations of Community-Based Participatory Research Experiences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5245; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145245 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) has been documented as an effective approach to research with underserved communities, particularly with racial and ethnic minority groups. However, much of the literature promoting the use of CBPR with underserved communities is written from the perspective of the [...] Read more.
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) has been documented as an effective approach to research with underserved communities, particularly with racial and ethnic minority groups. However, much of the literature promoting the use of CBPR with underserved communities is written from the perspective of the researchers and not from the perspective of the community partner. The purpose of this article is to capture lessons learned from the community partners’ insight gained through their experiences with CBPR. A multi-investigator consensus method was used to qualitatively code the transcripts of a CBPR story-telling video series. Seven major themes were identified: (1) expectations for engaging in research, (2) cultural humility, (3) respecting the partnership, (4) open communication, (5) genuine commitment, (6) valuing strengths and recognizing capacities, and (7) collaborating to yield meaningful results. The themes drawn from the community partner’s voice align with the tenets of CBPR advanced in the academic literature. More opportunities to include the community voice when promoting CBPR should be undertaken to help introduce the concepts to potential community partners who may be research cautious. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effect of HNO3 and H2SO4 on the Paddy Ecosystem: A Mesocosm Study with Exposure at PNEC and HC50 Levels
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5244; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145244 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 334
Abstract
Paddy mesocosms comprising of rice (Oryza sativa), snail (Pomacea canaliculata), and worm (Tubifex tubifex) were used to assess the damage caused by two acids (HNO3 and H2SO4) at predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) [...] Read more.
Paddy mesocosms comprising of rice (Oryza sativa), snail (Pomacea canaliculata), and worm (Tubifex tubifex) were used to assess the damage caused by two acids (HNO3 and H2SO4) at predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) and hazardous concentration for 50% of species (HC50) levels. In the fourth week, the fresh weight and shoot height of O. sativa at H2SO4-HC50 were reduced by 83.2% and 30.3%, respectively. Wilted leaves (%) at HC50 were approximately twice that at PNEC. No P. canaliculata and T. tubifex were recovered at HC50. At H2SO4-PNEC, the length and weight of P. canaliculata were reduced by 7.4% and 25.9%, respectively, whereas fewer adult (46.5%) and juvenile (84%) T. tubifex were recovered. In the 20th week, rice growth and productivity were correlated with initial pH (pHi) and nitrogen levels. Poor correlation with chlorophyll at the active tillering stage suggests the disturbance of nutrient uptake by roots. Partial least squares path modeling (PLS-PM) results further supported that the pHi directly affects grain yield and quality, as well as plant growth. The indirect effect via intervening fourth-week-variables was also substantial. Therefore, it is important to measure initial pH upon acid spill to estimate the risk to the paddy ecosystem. Information on the change in soil properties associated with acidity will also aid in predicting the yield and quality of grain to be harvested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment and Applied Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle
Translator Exposure APIs: Open Access to Data on Airborne Pollutant Exposures, Roadway Exposures, and Socio-Environmental Exposures and Use Case Application
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5243; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145243 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 343
Abstract
Environmental exposures have profound effects on health and disease. While public repositories exist for a variety of exposures data, these are generally difficult to access, navigate, and interpret. We describe the research, development, and application of three open application programming interfaces (APIs) that [...] Read more.
Environmental exposures have profound effects on health and disease. While public repositories exist for a variety of exposures data, these are generally difficult to access, navigate, and interpret. We describe the research, development, and application of three open application programming interfaces (APIs) that support access to usable, nationwide, exposures data from three public repositories: airborne pollutant estimates from the US Environmental Protection Agency; roadway data from the US Department of Transportation; and socio-environmental exposures from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Three open APIs were successfully developed, deployed, and tested using random latitude/longitude values and time periods as input parameters. After confirming the accuracy of the data, we used the APIs to extract exposures data on 2550 participants from a cohort within the Environmental Polymorphisms Registry (EPR) at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and we successfully linked the exposure estimates with participant-level data derived from the EPR. We then conducted an exploratory, proof-of-concept analysis of the integrated data for a subset of participants with self-reported asthma and largely replicated our prior findings on the impact of select exposures and demographic factors on asthma exacerbations. Together, the three open exposures APIs provide a valuable resource, with application across environmental and public health fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Analysis and Methods)
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Open AccessArticle
Prices, Availability and Affordability of Medicines with Value-Added Tax Exemption: A Cross-Sectional Survey in the Philippines
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5242; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145242 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 575
Abstract
Background: Developing countries, such as the Philippines, started implementing policies to improve access to medicines, which is a vital step toward universal healthcare coverage. This study aimed to evaluate the prices, availability and affordability of prescribed medicines for diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension with [...] Read more.
Background: Developing countries, such as the Philippines, started implementing policies to improve access to medicines, which is a vital step toward universal healthcare coverage. This study aimed to evaluate the prices, availability and affordability of prescribed medicines for diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension with the exemption of 12% value-added tax in the Philippines. Methods: The prices and availability of 50 medicines were collected in August 2019 from 36 public and 42 private medicine outlets in six regions of the Philippines, following a modified methodology developed by the World Health Organization and Health Action International. Availability is reported as the percentage of outlets in which the surveyed medicine was found at the time of visit. Medicine prices are expressed as median unit prices (MUPs) in Philippine Peso. Affordability is calculated based on the number of days’ wages required for the lowest-paid unskilled government worker to purchase a monthly treatment. Results: The mean availability of surveyed medicines was low in both public and private sectors, with 1.3% for originator brands (OBs) and 25.0% for lowest-priced generics (LPGs) in public outlets, and 34.7% and 35.4% in private outlets, respectively. The MUP of medicines were higher in private outlets, and OBs have higher unit price compared to the generic equivalents. Treatments with OBs were unaffordable, except for gliclazide, but the affordability of most LPGs is generally good. Conclusion: Access to medicines in both sectors was affected by low availability. High prices of OBs influenced the affordability of medicines even with tax exemption. A review of policies and regulations should be initiated for a better access to medicines in the Philippines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice Research)
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Therapeutic Atmosphere in Psychotherapy Sessions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4105
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5241; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145241 - 20 Jul 2020
Viewed by 414
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following correction to their paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ingredients for a Sustainable Wholesome Network in Mental Health)
Open AccessArticle
Associations of Sleep Quality and Frailty among the Older Adults with Chronic Disease in China: The Mediation Effect of Psychological Distress
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5240; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145240 - 20 Jul 2020
Viewed by 438
Abstract
Frailty affects the elderly and leads to adverse health outcomes. Preliminary evaluations have suggested that sleep quality and psychological distress are predictors of frailty among older adults. However, the mechanisms by which sleep quality affect frailty had not been fully addressed in the [...] Read more.
Frailty affects the elderly and leads to adverse health outcomes. Preliminary evaluations have suggested that sleep quality and psychological distress are predictors of frailty among older adults. However, the mechanisms by which sleep quality affect frailty had not been fully addressed in the previous research. This study aimed to explore the mediation effect of psychological distress on the association between sleep quality and frailty among the elderly with chronic diseases in rural China. A total of 2346 old adults were included in the analysis. Frailty status was measured by Fried Phenotype criteria. Sleep quality was assessed by Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and psychological distress was examined by Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10). Ordinal logistic regressions were performed to assess the relationships between sleep quality and frailty. Mediation test was also conducted by bootstrap method. The prevalence rate of frailty among the elderly with chronic diseases was 21% in rural China. Compared with the elder of robust status, respondents identified as having frailty have lower SES, less vigorous physical activity, and worse self-reported health status. Poor sleep quality was a significant predictor of frailty with mediators (OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.19–1.76). Mediation analysis suggested that psychological distress mediated 41.81% of total effect between sleep quality and frailty. This study indicated that poor sleep quality was significantly related to frailty, and psychological was a mediator of this association. However, we could not investigate causal relationships between variables since this was one cross-sectional study. These findings suggested that an early detection of sleep problems and also psychological disorders should be taken to prevent frailty among the rural older adults in China. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Focused Review on the Maximal Exercise Responses in Hypo- and Normobaric Hypoxia: Divergent Oxygen Uptake and Ventilation Responses
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5239; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145239 - 20 Jul 2020
Viewed by 477
Abstract
The literature suggests that acute hypobaric (HH) and normobaric (NH) hypoxia exposure elicits different physiological responses. Only limited information is available on whether maximal cardiorespiratory exercise test outcomes, performed on either the treadmill or the cycle ergometer, are affected differently by NH and [...] Read more.
The literature suggests that acute hypobaric (HH) and normobaric (NH) hypoxia exposure elicits different physiological responses. Only limited information is available on whether maximal cardiorespiratory exercise test outcomes, performed on either the treadmill or the cycle ergometer, are affected differently by NH and HH. A focused literature review was performed to identify relevant studies reporting cardiorespiratory responses in well-trained male athletes (individuals with a maximal oxygen uptake, VO2max > 50 mL/min/kg at sea level) to cycling or treadmill running in simulated acute HH or NH. Twenty-one studies were selected. The exercise tests in these studies were performed in HH (n = 90) or NH (n = 151) conditions, on a bicycle ergometer (n = 178) or on a treadmill (n = 63). Altitudes (simulated and terrestrial) varied between 2182 and 5400 m. Analyses (based on weighted group means) revealed that the decline in VO2max per 1000 m gain in altitude was more pronounced in acute NH vs. HH (−7.0 ± 1.4% vs. −5.6 ± 0.9%). Maximal minute ventilation (VEmax) increased in acute HH but decreased in NH with increasing simulated altitude (+1.9 ± 0.9% vs. −1.4 ± 1.8% per 1000 m gain in altitude). Treadmill running in HH caused larger decreases in arterial oxygen saturation and heart rate than ergometer cycling in acute HH, which was not the case in NH. These results indicate distinct differences between maximal cardiorespiratory responses to cycling and treadmill running in acute NH or HH. Such differences should be considered when interpreting exercise test results and/or monitoring athletic training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hypoxia and Exercise: Effects on Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Driving Accidents, Driving Violations, Symptoms of Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity (ADHD) and Attentional Network Tasks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5238; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145238 - 20 Jul 2020
Viewed by 422
Abstract
Background: Iran has serious problems with traffic-related injuries and death. A major reason for traffic accidents is cognitive failure due to deficits in attention. In this study, we investigated the associations between traffic violations, traffic accidents, symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), age, and [...] Read more.
Background: Iran has serious problems with traffic-related injuries and death. A major reason for traffic accidents is cognitive failure due to deficits in attention. In this study, we investigated the associations between traffic violations, traffic accidents, symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), age, and on an attentional network task in a sample of Iranian adults. Methods: A total of 274 participants (mean age: 31.37 years; 80.7% males) completed questionnaires covering demographic information, driving violations, traffic accidents, and symptoms of ADHD. In addition, they underwent an objective attentional network task (ANT), based on Posner’s concept of attentional networks. Results: More frequent traffic violations, correlated with lower age and poorer performance on the attentional network tasks. Higher symptoms of ADHD were associated with more accidents and more traffic violations, but not with the performance of the attentional tasks. Higher ADHD scores, a poorer performance on attentional network tasks, and younger age predicted traffic violations. Only higher symptoms of ADHD predicted more traffic accidents. Conclusions: In a sample of Iranian drivers, self-rated symptoms of ADHD appeared to be associated with traffic violations and accidents, while symptoms of ADHD were unrelated to objectively assessed performance on an attentional network task. Poor attentional network performance was a significant predictor of traffic violations but not of accidents. To increase traffic safety, both symptoms of ADHD and attentional network performance appear to merit particular attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult Psychiatry )
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Open AccessArticle
Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Association between Periodontitis and Cardiovascular Disease Using the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5237; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145237 - 20 Jul 2020
Viewed by 473
Abstract
This cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the association between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) by reviewing and discussing the role of the oral microbiome in periodontitis and CVD. This prospective cohort study used epidemiological data from the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study from [...] Read more.
This cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the association between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) by reviewing and discussing the role of the oral microbiome in periodontitis and CVD. This prospective cohort study used epidemiological data from the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study from 2004 to 2016. We selected 9973 patients with periodontitis and 125,304 controls (non-periodontitis) from 173,209 participants and analyzed their medical histories to determine the relationship between cerebral stroke/ischemic heart disease and periodontitis. The participants were questioned about any previous history of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, cerebral stroke (hemorrhagic or ischemic), ischemic heart disease (angina or myocardial infarction), and periodontitis. Their body mass index, smoking habit, alcohol intake, nutritional intake, and income were recorded. The Chi-square test, independent t-test, and two-tailed analyses were used for statistical analysis. The adjusted OR (aOR) of periodontitis for stroke was 1.35 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.16–1.57, p < 0.001). The aOR of periodontitis for ischemic heart disease was 1.34 (95% CI = 1.22–1.48, p < 0.001). We concluded that periodontitis was associated with CVD and may be a risk factor for CVD. However, further studies are required to determine the association between periodontal treatment and CVD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Pathologies and Their Impact on Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Attitudes of the Public to Receiving Medical Care during Emergencies through Remote Physician–Patient Communications
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5236; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145236 - 20 Jul 2020
Viewed by 417
Abstract
Providing health services through remote communications for sub-acute health issues during emergencies may help reduce the burden of the health care system and increase availability of care. This study aimed to investigate the attitudes of the public towards receiving medical services and providing [...] Read more.
Providing health services through remote communications for sub-acute health issues during emergencies may help reduce the burden of the health care system and increase availability of care. This study aimed to investigate the attitudes of the public towards receiving medical services and providing medical information through remote communication in times of emergencies. During the pandemic outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), pandemic outbreak, 507 participants answered a structured online survey, rating their mean willingness to receive medical care and provide medical information, on a four-point Likert scale. Furthermore, demographic characteristics, social media use, and trust in data protection was collected. The mean willingness to receive medical services was 3.1 ± 0.6 and the mean willingness to provide medical information was 3.0 ± 0.7, with a strong significant correlation between the two (r = 0.76). The multiple regression model identified higher trust in data protection, level of education, and social media use as statistically significant predictors for a higher willingness to receive medical information while the first two predicted willingness to provide information. The findings suggest an overall positive attitude to receive medical care through remote communications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Communication)
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Open AccessArticle
Relationships among Leisure Physical Activity, Sedentary Lifestyle, Physical Fitness, and Happiness in Adults 65 Years or Older in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5235; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145235 - 20 Jul 2020
Viewed by 464
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to understand the relationship among leisure physical activity, sedentary lifestyle, physical fitness, and happiness in healthy elderly adults aged over 65 years old in Taiwan. Data were recruited from the National Physical Fitness Survey in Taiwan, which [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to understand the relationship among leisure physical activity, sedentary lifestyle, physical fitness, and happiness in healthy elderly adults aged over 65 years old in Taiwan. Data were recruited from the National Physical Fitness Survey in Taiwan, which was proposed in the Project on the Establishment of Physical Fitness Testing Stations by the Sports Administration of the Ministry of Education. Participants were recruited from fitness testing stations set up in 22 counties and cities from October 2015 to May 2016. A total of 20,111 healthy older adults aged 65–102 years were recruited as research participants. The fitness testing procedure was described to all participants, who were provided with a standardized structured questionnaire. Participants’ data included sex, city or county of residence, living status (living together with others or living alone), education level, and income. Physical fitness testing was conducted in accordance with The Fitness Guide for Older Adults published by the Sports Administration of the Ministry of Education. The testing involved cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, balance, and body composition. The t-test was used to evaluate the differences between continuous and grade variables under the two classification variables of sex, city or county of residence, and living status. We used the MARS (multivariate adaptive regression splines) model to analyze the effects of physical fitness variables and leisure physical activity variables on happiness. Among healthy elderly adults, sex, age, living status, body mass index, and leisure physical activity habits proved to be related to happiness. Aerobic endurance (2-min step test), muscular strength and endurance (30-s arm curl and 30-s chair stand tests), flexibility (back stretch and chair sit-and-reach tests), and balance ability (8-foot up-and-go tests and one-leg stance with eyes open tests) were found to be related to happiness. The results of this study indicate that increased physical activity and intensity, as well as physical fitness performance, are associated with improved happiness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cost-Effectiveness of a Problem-Solving Intervention Aimed to Prevent Sickness Absence among Employees with Common Mental Disorders or Occupational Stress
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5234; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145234 - 20 Jul 2020
Viewed by 395
Abstract
The cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness of a work-directed intervention implemented by the occupational health service (OHS) for employees with common mental disorders (CMD) or stress related problems at work were investigated. The economic evaluation was conducted in a two-armed clustered RCT. Employees received either [...] Read more.
The cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness of a work-directed intervention implemented by the occupational health service (OHS) for employees with common mental disorders (CMD) or stress related problems at work were investigated. The economic evaluation was conducted in a two-armed clustered RCT. Employees received either a problem-solving based intervention (PSI; n = 41) or care as usual (CAU; n = 59). Both were work-directed interventions. Data regarding sickness absence and production loss at work was gathered during a one-year follow-up. Bootstrap techniques were used to conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) and a Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) from both an employer and societal perspective. Intervention costs were lower for PSI than CAU. Costs for long-term sickness absence were higher for CAU, whereas costs for short-term sickness absence and production loss at work were higher for PSI. Mainly due to these costs, PSI was not cost-effective from the employer’s perspective. However, PSI was cost-beneficial from a societal perspective. CEA showed that a one-day reduction of long-term sickness absence costed on average €101 for PSI, a cost that primarily was borne by the employer. PSI reduced the socio-economic burden compared to CAU and could be recommended to policy makers. However, reduced long-term sickness absence, i.e., increased work attendance, was accompanied by employees perceiving higher levels of production loss at work and thus increased the cost for employers. This partly explains why an effective intervention was not cost-effective from the employer’s perspective. Hence, additional adjustments and/or support at the workplace might be needed for reducing the loss of production at work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Interventions)
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