Short-term and long-term effects of off-job activities on recovery and sleep: A two-wave panel study among health care employees

Jan de Jonge, Akihito Shimazu, Maureen Dollard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examined whether particular recovery activities after work have a positive or negative effect on employee recovery from work (i.e., cognitive, emotional, and physical detachment) and sleep quality. We used a two-wave panel study of 230 health care employees which enabled looking at both short-term and long-term effects (i.e., two-year time interval). Gender, age, marital status, children at home, education level, management position, and working hours were used as control variables. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that work-related off-job activities were negatively associated with cognitive and emotional detachment in both the short and long run, whereas low-effort off-job activities were positively related to cognitive detachment in the short run. Moreover, household/care off-job activities were positively related to sleep quality in the long run, whereas physical off-job activities were negatively associated with sleep quality in the long run. The long-term findings existed beyond the strong effects of baseline detachment and sleep quality. This study highlights the importance of off-job recovery activities for health care employees’ detachment from work and sleep quality. Practical implications and avenues for further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2044
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 18
Externally publishedYes



  • Health care employees
  • Off-job recovery activities
  • Panel study
  • Recovery from work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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