Obesity, Long-Term Health Problems, and Workplace Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Study of Australian Workers

  • Syed Afroz KeramatEmail author
  • Khorshed Alam
  • Jeff Gow
  • Stuart J. H. Biddle
Original Paper


This study investigates the impact of obesity, long-term health problems and their interaction on three specific aspects of job satisfaction among Australian adult workers. Exploiting longitudinal data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey for the years 2006–2017, this study estimates overall job satisfaction, pay satisfaction and job security satisfaction using a common set of explanatory variables. Results from both random effects generalized least squares estimation and random effects ordered probit model confirm that obesity has a significant negative impact on workers’ pay and job security satisfaction. The results indicate that overweight workers are dissatisfied about their job security compared to normal weight peers. The study results reveal that long-term health problems significantly reduce all aspects of job satisfaction of the workers. However, the results indicate that the interaction of obesity and long-term health problems positively influences workers’ overall job satisfaction. Overall, the study findings are in line with the hypothesis that obese workers with long-term health problems have low expectations about their job.


Australia Job security satisfaction Long-term health problems Obesity Overall job satisfaction Pay satisfaction 



The paper is a part of the PhD study of the first author. The PhD program was funded by the University of Southern Queensland, Australia [USQ International Stipend Research Scholarship and USQ International Fees Research Scholarship]. The authors would also like to thank the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research for providing the HILDA data set.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics Approval

Ethics approval is not required for the study as it used secondary data from the HILDA survey data set. Researchers working in Australia may avail this data set after following certain regulations. There is no identifiable information of the individual in the data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of CommerceUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Health, Informatics, and Economic Research, University of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  3. 3.Economics Discipline, Social Science SchoolKhulna UniversityKhulnaBangladesh
  4. 4.School of Accounting, Economics, and FinanceUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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