Mainstream psychological stress theory claims that it is important to include information on people’s ways of coping with work stress when assessing the impact of stressful psychosocial work environments on health. Yet, some widely used respective theoretical models focus exclusively on extrinsic factors. The model of effort-reward imbalance (ERI) differs from them as it explicitly combines information on extrinsic and intrinsic factors in studying workers’ health. As a growing number of studies used the ERI model in recent past, we conducted a systematic review of available evidence, with a special focus on the distinct contribution of its intrinsic component, the coping pattern “over-commitment”, towards explaining health. Moreover, we explore whether the interaction of intrinsic and extrinsic components exceeds the size of effects on health attributable to single components. Results based on 51 reports document an independent explanatory role of “over-commitment” in explaining workers’ health in a majority of studies. However, support in favour of the interaction hypothesis is limited and requires further exploration. In conclusion, the findings of this review support the usefulness of a work stress model that combines extrinsic and intrinsic components in terms of scientific explanation and of designing more comprehensive worksite stress prevention programs.