Perceptions of the impact of non-standard work schedules on health in Australian graduates: An exploratory study

Meagan E. Crowther, Amy C. Reynolds, Sally A. Ferguson, Robert Adams

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Non-standard working hours are associated with negative health outcomes. However, little is known about the early years of exposure to non-standard work hours, or whether workers new to these work schedules perceive their work as impacting their health. This limits our ability to develop meaningful intervention strategies for transitioning into non-standard work hour schedules. This exploratory study investigated whether recent Australian graduates in various non-standard workhour schedules perceive that their work schedule negatively impacts their health. The responses of 120 graduates within four years of completing their tertiary qualification collected from an online survey were analysed. Graduates were asked whether they perceived their work arrangements as impacting their health. Significantly more of those who were engaged in non-standard work schedules or worked beyond contracted hours perceived their working arrangements as having an impact on their health. This study highlights the importance of studying workers’ perceptions of the impact of work hours on health, particularly when workers may be experiencing good global health but be at risk for negative health outcomes in future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial Health
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd) License. (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0:


  • Australian workforce
  • Extended working hours
  • Health risk perception
  • Non-standard work schedules
  • Work beyond contracted hours


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