Association of physical fitness on self- perceived work ability on working aged people
Ageing population combined with plans of lengthen careers compel both organizations and occupational healthcare system to renew. Sufficient physical fitness is one of the key factors to pursuit this goal which enables workers to continue in the working life. Aim of the study was to clarify association of physical fitness on self- perceived work ability on working aged people by utilizing Laturi Energy Index and short version of Work Ability Index (WAP) questionnaire in a working age population. Study was a sub-study of a larger ALIWO research project. Altogether 197 participants, 39 executives and 158 employees from 39 local companies in different sectors took part to the study. Energy Index result was calculated based on the preliminary information and results in eight subtests including a wellness questionnaire, fitness assessment, and biometric data. Energy Index results are presented in hours and minutes and results can vary from 4-16 hours. The score in the WAP varies from 0-100 points. WAP is created by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Seitsamo 2013) and it is based on international Work Ability Index (Ilmarinen et al. 1997). The average result in Energy Index among all the 197 participants was 10:39 h:min, varying from 4:43 h:min to 15:21h:min. The results did not differ between executives and employers, however female had better Energy Index than male. (p=0.001). The mean in WAP was 83.86 points. Results varied from 39 points to 100 points. Results in WAP did not statistically differ between executives and employees, between genders or between different age groups. However, individuals who reported high physical activity had higher WAP compared to moderate physical activity (p<0,007). In total, there was a positive correlation between Energy Index and WAP (r=0.26, p<0.001). In addition, a significant positive correlation was found between Energy Index and WAP in all of the subgroups: executives, employees, female and male. Energy Index and WAP showed also a positive correlation among those whose work type was sedentary and those who reported their nature of work to be mentally demanding. As a conclusion, this study succeeded in strengthening the association of physical fitness and work ability on cross-sector worker population. All in all, results indicates that both tools Energy Index and WAP are applicable specially workers in different positions for both genders and for mentally demanding and sedentary work types. The statistically significant correlation between Energy Index and WAP indicates that health and functional capacity are significantly related to work ability in occurring now. ...
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