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Associations Between a Healthy Work-Family Balance and Better Health

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Abigail Williams

Additional Presenters:
Sylvia Brown (; Nathaniel Call (; Christine Gore (; Anna Jorgensen (; Kelsie Minga (; Ella Sieg (
Background: Blood pressure (BP) has been linked to stress, such that higher stress levels can result in higher BP, and higher BP has been linked to greater cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. BP shows a circadian rhythm such that a healthy cardiovascular profile includes a blood pressure decrease of 10-15% from day to night (i.e., nocturnal dipping) (O'Brien et al., 1988). Many studies have shown nocturnal BP dipping to be a better predictor of CVD than daytime or nighttime ambulatory BP averages. Today most husbands and wives work outside the home and may experience internal conflict when trying to balance multiple at-home responsibilities with all their work responsibilities. These conflicts can increase stress levels for both husbands and wives, which could increase risk for CVD. Balancing work and home responsibilities and reducing these internal conflicts may reduce stress and improve BP outcomes, specifically nocturnal dipping, and thus reduce CVD risks. Aims of this study: To determine if a healthy work-family balance is associated with better nocturnal BP dipping. Methods: 179 participants (mean age: 24.84, SD=4.1; range 21-46; 55.3% male) were recruited from a local university, social media, and the local community. Because physiological measures were taken, exclusion criteria included any medical conditions with a cardiovascular component, and BMI over 29.9 as obesity is correlated with hypertension. Each participant wore an ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) monitor for 24 hours, collecting readings every half hour during the day and once an hour during the night. Participants also completed a demographic questionnaire and a work/family balance questionnaire. We treated nocturnal BP dipping dichotomously (dippers classified according to a dipping ratio of BP night/day; dippers were ≤.90 and non-dippers were >.90) taking the average of the daytime BP and the average of the night-time readings. All analysis was completed through SAS version 9.4 Results: Those who exhibited less conflict between their work responsibilities and home responsibilities showed a healthy dipping profile for both systolic blood pressure (p<.001) and diastolic blood pressure (p<.001). Ancillary analysis showed this effect was more pronounced in women than in men for both systolic BP (p<.001) and diastolic BP (p<.001). Conclusions: Most individuals work outside the home. An understanding of the necessity of balancing these responsibilities with those at-home responsibilities to reduce CVD risk can help individuals work to improve these imbalances so as to improve health now and in the future. This may be particularly important for women, who often take on more of the household and childcare responsibilities. Working to improve equity between spouses/partners can improve the health of both partners.
University / Institution: Brigham Young University
Type: Poster
Format: In Person
Presentation #C40
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Wendy Birmingham