Physical and psychosocial prerequisite of functioning in relation to work ability and general subjective well-being among office workers

Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health (Impact Factor: 3.45). 07/2002; 28(3):184-90. DOI: 10.5271/sjweh.663
Source: PubMed


The purpose of the study was to investigate the physical and psychological prerequisites of functioning, as well as the social environment at work and personal factors, in relation to work ability and general subjective well-being in a group of office workers.
The study was a descriptive cross-sectional investigation, using path analysis, of office workers. The subjects comprised 88 volunteers, 24 men and 64 women, from the same workplace [mean age 45.7 (SD 8.6) years]. The independent variables were measured using psychosocial and physical questionnaires and physical measurements. The first dependent variable, work ability, was measured by a work ability index. The second dependent variable, general subjective well-being, was assessed by life satisfaction and meaning of life. The variables were structured according to a modified version of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health.
Forward flexion of the spine, intensity of musculoskeletal symptoms, self-confidence, and mental stress at work explained 58% of work ability and had indirect effects on general subjective well-being. Self-confidence, mood, and work ability had a direct effect on general subjective well-being. The model developed explained 68% of general subjective well-being. Age played a significant role in this study population.
The prerequisites of physical functioning are important in maintaining work ability, particularly among aging workers, and psychological prerequisites of functioning are of even greater importance in maintaining general subjective well-being.

Download full-text


Available from: Tuulikki Sjögren
  • Source
    • "The result of one-way analysis of ANOVA showed that relationships between WAI and NASA-TLX in job group were statistically significant (P = 0.01). As shown in Table 3, mean WAI in all job groups was low, and mean NASA-TLX score was high; these two variables have direct inverse effect that was revealed in a study by Sjögren-Rönkä among office workers (2002), and the result showed that low mental demand at work was directly related to higher work ability [42]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Two great changes in developed countries are taking place: populations are ageing and becoming increasingly overweight. Combination of these factors with shift work is a risk factor for work ability and mental workload that are dynamic processes which change greatly throughout an individual's work life. The aim of this study was to investigate mental workload and work ability in textile workers and to identify factors which affect work ability and mental workload. Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out among 194 male workers in textile industry. Employees based on their job group and work conditions have been divided into 6 categories. They completed work ability index and mental workload questionnaires during three work shifts. Body mass index (BMI) and demographic details were recorded. Results: All of the participants rated their work ability as moderate with high mental workload. The mean WAI and mental workload in age group were significant. The mean BMI was 25.5 kg/m(2) (standard deviation 4.1) and the mean age was 40.22 years. There was a statistically significant correlation between work ability index and shift work. Conclusions: Unlike the previous study, a decrease point in WAI started in early age that may be due to life-style work and another psychological factor; on the other hand, NASA-TLX revealed high score in six subscales that can be another reason for low WAI.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Journal of Environmental and Public Health
  • Source
    • "The results of the study can therefore be generalized to a large part of the working population of 45 years and older. Previous studies on the association between psychosocial factors and work conditions on work ability have been conducted in specific occupational groups (Plat et al. 2011; Sjogren-Ronka et al. 2002; van den Berg et al. 2008). Moreover, psychosocial factors in earlier studies were often actually work related such as job demands and lack of control. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the influence of work conditions, psychosocial factors and perceived health on the association between the presence of a chronic health condition and (single-item) work ability among workers aged 45 years and older. In addition, we aimed to examine variables associated with work ability for workers with and without a chronic health condition separately. Methods: The data of this cross-sectional study were obtained from 5,247 workers aged 45 years and older in five different work sectors. Work ability was assessed with the first item of the Work Ability Index. The presence of a chronic health condition was assessed by self-report. Independent variables in the multivariable linear regression analysis were work conditions, psychosocial factors and perceived health status. Results: The presence of a chronic health condition was negatively associated with work ability (B = -0.848). The strength of this association slightly attenuated after subsequently adding individual characteristics (B = -0.824), work conditions (B = -0.805) and more so after adding psychosocial factors (B = -0.704) and especially perceived health variables (B = -0.049) to the model. Variables associated with work ability for workers with and without a chronic health condition were similar. Conclusion: Perceived health and psychosocial factors, rather than work conditions, explained the association between the presence of a chronic health condition and work ability. Substantial differences in variables associated with work ability for workers with and without a chronic health condition were not found. Based on the lower mean scores for workers with a chronic health condition and work ability as well for predictors, these workers might have the most benefit by a policy focussing on enhancing these associated variables.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Source
    • "The WAI is an instrument for assessing an individual’s work ability and resources in relation to work demands in health examinations and workplace surveys [15]. The WAI consists of seven dimensions which are used to calculate a total score ranging from 7 to 49 [16,17], which is classified into poor (7–27), moderate (28–36), good (37–43), or excellent (44–49) work ability. The content of the different dimensions has been previously described by Ilmarinen [15]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background The aim of this study was to investigate whether self-reports of work ability correlated to the results of quantitative tests measuring physical capacity and a questionnaire assessing psychological mood in vibration-exposed patients with hand symptoms. Methods The participants comprised 47 patients (36 men and eleven women) with exposure to hand vibration and vascular and/or neurological symptoms in the hands. They performed several quantitative tests (manual dexterity, hand grip strength, finger strength) and completed the Work Ability Index (WAI) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) questionnaires. Results Correlation analysis revealed statistically significant associations between the WAI results, the HADS indices, hand grip and finger strength, and manual dexterity measured using the Purdue Pegboard®. Multiple regression analysis revealed age and HADS indices as the strongest predictors of work ability. Conclusions The patient’s age and psychological mood may be stronger predictors of work ability compared with results from tests measuring physical capacity of the hands in vibration-exposed patients with hand symptoms. When using the WAI as an instrument for assessing work ability in these patients, health care providers need to be more aware of the impact of the psychological mood.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
Show more