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HOME > J Korean Acad Community Health Nurs > Volume 11(1); 2000 > Article
Original Article A Study on Health Behaviors and Problems of Female Retail Workers
Souk Young Kim, Soon Nyung Yun

Published online: June 30, 2000
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The objectives of this study are to identify health behaviors and health problems. and the relations between health behaviors and health problems of female workers in the retail business. The number of subjects were 200 female workers of 6 department stores in Seoul and Kyonggi area, whose jobs last more than 6 months as retail employees. The data was collected during 2 months from July 1 to August 30, 1998. The Cornell Medical Index Health Questionnaire(CMI) was used to measure their health problems, while health behaViorn were investigated in terms of 'smoking', 'alcohol', exercise', 'diet', and 'sleeping'. The data were analyzed with frequency. percentage, t-test, ANOVA test, and chi2-test by SPSS PC+ program. The results of this study are as follows: 1. Out of health problems. Digestive symptoms occupied the highest percent number. nervous ones the second and cardiovascular ones the third among physical health problems of retail female workers. The most frequent mental health problem was 'adequacy' and the next, 'tension' and 'anger'. 2. Health problems according to general characteristics of subjects were shown that the younger or the unmarried complained more than the older or the married, especially in the items of 'eye and ear', 'respiratory system', 'cardiovascular system', 'digestive tract', 'nervous system', 'adequacy', and 'depression'. The longer working duration they have had, the more they complained of 'respiratory system' and 'adequacy'. The lower academic careers complained of 'nervous' than the higher ones with statistical significance. 3. The analysis of daily health clinic notes showed that respiratory complaints were the highest percent, successively followed by digestive tract, nervous one, external injury, musculoskeletal system, urinary-reproductive system and others. 4. The level of their health practice was generally low in smoking, diet habit and alcohol intake, exercise, sleeping, very low especially in smoking, diet, alcohol intake, and exercise among them all. 5. Present smokers and ones with past experience complained of physical and mental health problems of 'respiratory system', 'digestive tract', 'skin', 'nervous', 'urinary-reproductive system', 'fatigability', adequacy', 'depression', 'anxiety', 'anger' and 'tension', than non smokers, with statistical difference. Workers without having breakfast and with irregular diet had more complaints on 'digestive tract', 'adequacy' and 'tension', than those who had regular dietary habit. The less the subjects slept, the more they complained of eye and ear, cardiovascular system. The subjects who drank alcohol complained more digestive problem. However, whether they exercise or not did not affect physical and mental health problems in a significant manner. 6. The subjects' age and marital status were statistically significant relating to health behaviors, as the younger or unmarried recorded a low level of health practice in smoking, drinking, dietary habit. Based on the results, the suggestions are made as follows: 1. Health education program on smoking, alcohol intake, diet habit is needed to improve health problems and health behavior of female retail workers. 2. The unmarried workers of late teen and twenties, who are transitional period from teenagers to adulthood are important targets for health promotion program especially for maternal health. 3. Better working environment with sufficient time and facilities for workers to relax is required to promote female sales workers' health. 4. Further research is required to identify the relation between workers' visual fatigue and intense lights for the display of goods.

RCPHN : Research in Community and Public Health Nursing