Associations Between Being ‘Locked-In’ and Health – An Epidemiological Study




Health, Working Environment & Wellbeing, Work/Life Balance, Organization & Management


Objective. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between an individual’s level of perceived control over labor market position (locked-in and not locked-in) and self-rated health and psychological well-being.
Methods. A representative sample (n = 11,675) of the working population in southern Sweden responded to a questionnaire.
Results. Sixty-seven percent of the respondents worked in their preferred workplace and occupation. Nineteen percent reported being in a nonpreferred workplace and nonpreferred occupation (double locked-in). Twenty-three percent reported suboptimal health compared with 31% among the double locked-in. The risk of suboptimal health was elevated in all locked-in groups also after adjustment for background variables and job strain. In the double locked-in group, the fully adjusted odds ratio for suboptimal health was 1.72 (95% confidence interval 1.49–1.99) and for suboptimal psychological well-being 2.17 (95% confidence inter val 1.84–2.56). Odds ratio for the other locked-in groups was lower but still statistically significant.
Conclusions. Being at a nonpreferred work-place or occupation was associated with impaired health.

Author Biographies

Gunnar Aronsson, Stockholm University

Professor, Department of Psychology

Marina Taloyan, Academic primary healthcare centre

Associate professor, Karolinska Institutet, Department of Neurobiology, Care Science and Society

Hugo Westerlund, Stockholm University

Professor, Stress Research Institute

Per-Olof Östergren, Lund University

Professor, Social Medicine and Global Health, Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö




How to Cite

Aronsson, G., Taloyan, M., Westerlund, H., & Östergren, P.-O. (2019). Associations Between Being ‘Locked-In’ and Health – An Epidemiological Study. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 9(3).