Iwin on Research

health and the workplace

iwin's research on health and the workplace research emphasizes the relationship between the work environment and employee health outcomes.

recent projects include:
Thoroughbred Worker Health and Safety Study
Creating Healthy Organizations in Kentucky
Quality Jobs: Flexibility for Working Families

Job Quality and Depression for Low-Wage Workers

thoroughbred worker health and safety study

officeThe main goal of the Thoroughbred Worker Health and Safety Study, a five-year research study funded by the CDC, is to make work safe for workers on Thoroughbred farms, which should in turn reduce costs for farm owners and managers. In order to reach that goal, this study aims to better understand the circumstances associated with common and uncommon illness and injuries experienced byThoroughbred workers. It will do this by:

1) determining the farm safety and health challenges related to a diverse workforce;
2) identifying strategies that farms have tried or established to address these concerns; and
3) developing and distributing tools and resources, free of charge, that farms can use to enhance worker safety and health.

These aims will be accomplished through the study's three phases.

Phase One: in-depth interviews with farm owners, managers, and/or human resource personnel. 
Phase Two: community-based interviews with Thoroughbred workers.
Phase Three: using information gleaned from the first two phases, health and safety resources will be developed, evaluated, and distributed to owners, managers, and workers on Thoroughbred farms in Kentucky.

For questions about the study, please contact Jess Miller Clouser, at thoroughbred@uky.edu, 859.323.0587.

creating healthy organizations in kentucky

office Research suggests that supervisor support and leadership practices impact employee stress, health and well-being. iwin is pleased to announce the release of its Creating Healthy Organizations: Promising Practices in Kentucky report. This extensive case study report defines health and wellness from a holistic organizational perspective and highlights Kentucky organizations with exemplary practices and cultures of health and wellness.

iwin thanks the following 23 companies for their participation (in alphabetical order): Al J. Schneider Co.; Benefit Insurance Marketing; Central Bank; Central Baptist Hospital; City of Paducah; Community Trust Bank; Eastern Kentucky University; EQT Corporation; Farmers National Bank; Frankfort Regional Medical Center; GE Appliances & Lighting; Georgetown College; Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Kentucky Employers' Mutual Insurance; LG&E and KU; Logan Aluminum; Norton Healthcare; Papa John's International; R. J. Corman Railroad Group; SHPS, Inc.; University of Louisville; University of Kentucky; Wellpoint (Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield).

If you have questions about the project, please contact Jess Miller Clouser at jess.clouser@uky.edu.

quality jobs in the new millennium: incorporating flexible work options as a strategy to assist working families

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Swanberg, Ph.D., UK iwin
Co-Principal Investigator: Leigh Ann Simmons, Ph.D., UK


This study seeks to explore the model of job quality in relation to the employees' self perceived physical health status. The study concludes that when demographic and other job quality variables are controlled, flexible work options, coworker support, and employment insecurity are major predictors of the employees' self-reported health status.

This project was supported with a grant from the UK Center for Poverty Research through the Department of Health and Human Services.

working poor blues: job quality and depression among low-wage workers in the united states

Principal Investigator: Leigh Ann Simmons, Ph.D. UK
Co-Principal Investigator: Jennifer Swanberg, Ph.D. UK iwin


This study examines the job quality factors associated with mental health status for wage and salaried workers in the U.S. Results show that low psychological demands, high flexibility, high coworker support, and low job insecurity were associated with better mental health, and that individuals who were working poor and job insecure were more likely to have poor mental health.

This project was supported with a grant from the UK Center for Poverty Research through the Department of Health and Human Services.