Job characteristics and off-job activities as predictors of need for recovery, well-being, and fatigue

S. Sonnentag*, F.R.H. Zijlstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Two empirical studies examined need for recovery (i.e., a person's desire to be temporarily relieved from demands in order to restore his or her resources) as a mediator in the relationship between poor job characteristics (high job demands, low job control) and high off-job demands, on the one hand, and fatigue and poor individual well-being, on the other hand. Multilevel data from a daily survey study in the health service sector (Study 1) showed that high job demands, low job control, and unfavorable off-job activities predicted a high need for recovery. Need for recovery in turn was negatively related to individual well-being. A large-scale survey with a representative sample of the Dutch working population (Study 2) confirmed these findings for fatigue. In both studies, need for recovery mediated the effects of job characteristics and off-job activities on fatigue and poor well-being, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-350
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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