Association between self-reported sleep duration and cardiometabolic risk in corporate executives

Paula R. Pienaar*, Laura C. Roden, Cécile R.L. Boot, Willem van Mechelen, Jos W.R. Twisk, Estelle V. Lambert, Dale E. Rae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: This cross-sectional study aimed to compare the association between self-reported sleep duration and cardiometabolic risk among men and women corporate executives and investigate potential lifestyle, work- and stress-related mediators thereof. Methods: Self-reported sleep duration and lifestyle, occupational, psychological and measured anthropometrical, blood pressure (BP) and blood marker variables were obtained from health risk assessment data of 3583 corporate executives. Sex-stratified regression analyses investigated the relationships between occupational and psychological variables with self-reported sleep duration, and sleep duration with individual cardiometabolic risk factors. Mediation analyses investigated the effects of work, psychological and lifestyle factors on the relationships between self-reported sleep duration and cardiometabolic risk factors, as well as a continuous cardiometabolic risk score calculated from the sum of sex-stratified z-standardized scores of negative fasting serum HDL, and positive plasma Glu, serum TG, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, systolic and diastolic BP. Results: Longer work hours and work commute time, depression, anxiety and stress were associated with shorter sleep duration in both men and women (all p < 0.05). Shorter sleep duration was associated with higher BMI, larger waist circumference and greater cardiometabolic risk scores in both men and women (all p < 0.05), higher diastolic BP in men (p < 0.05) and lower HDL cholesterol in women (p < 0.05). Physical activity, working hours and stress significantly mediated the relationships between self-reported sleep duration and BMI, waist circumference, diastolic BP and cardiometabolic risk score in men only. Conclusion: In these corporate executives, shorter self-reported sleep duration is associated with poorer psychological, occupational and cardiometabolic risk outcomes in both men and women. Given that physical activity, working hours and stress mediate this association among the men, the case for sleep health interventions in workplace health programmes is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1809-1821
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number8
Early online date29 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors sincerely thank the healthcare professionals involved in the Life Healthcare Employee Health Services (corporate wellness program) and the companies who agreed to participate in this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Employees
  • Health risk assessment
  • Short sleep
  • Sleep quantity
  • Workplace


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