Background: Although there is a plethora of data on factors that negatively influence an athletic trainer’s work-life balance (WLB) and mental health; there is a paucity of research on strategies that can directly address WLB. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to better understand how collegiate athletic trainers promote their mental health and wellbeing, focusing specifically on WLB and self-care practices. Methods: This was an online, cross-sectional survey in a collegiate setting. Participants were recruited via email and included 1,053 ATs (398 males, 646 females, 9 other) employed at the collegiate level. The participant’s mean age was 33 ± 9 (range 21-71), with an average of 10 ± 9 (range 0-48) years of experience. The questionnaire utilized in this study included demographic questions (i.e., age, gender, marital status) as well as 11 Likert scale questions (1=always, 5= never). Data was collected during the month of September 2022. Reminder emails were sent at 1-week, and 3-weeks post initial recruitment email. Descriptive statistics were utilized to explore demographic variances, while frequency statistics were used to identify the reported use of strategies used to promote WLB. Results: Eighty-six percent (86%) of respondents sometimes, seldom, or never are satisfied with their WLB. Only 14% identify that always or often do they have availability for self-care. Twenty-nine percent (29%) of respondents utilize their co-workers to promote WLB. Athletic trainers always or often use home support (42%) more often than work support (32%) to promote WLB. Conclusion: Self-care practices can increase clinician mental health and well-being. Time is a limiting factor for athletic trainers, and when they do not have enough time to engage in non-work activities, they are at an increased risk for burnout. Support networks continue to help athletic trainers create WLB.

Author Bio(s)

Alexandrya H. Cairns, MS, ATC is a doctoral student at the University of Connecticut. She is a certified athletic trainer.

Riley Cigal, BS is recent graduate of the University of Connecticut.

Stephanie M Singe, PhD, ATC, FNATA is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. Her area of expertise is in work-life balance, burnout, and professional commitment.





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