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BMC Research Notes

, 9:1



BackgroundStudies about work ability have grown in importance owing to the worldwide aging of active populations. Research has shown that measuring work ability has a predictive value in cases of long-term sickness absence and early retirement. Our goal was to analyze the work ability and associated factors of civil servants from a higher education institution in Brazil. The participants in this cross-sectional study were 600 technical-administrative workers at a public university. Work ability was measured using the work ability index.

ResultsThe participants were as follows: 51.8 % male; mean age of 45 years SD = ±11; married or in a stable union 61.5 %; holding a graduate degree 56.7 %; having only one job 83.3 %, working 40 h a week or less 78.6 %; not working evenings 79.8 %; and having direct contact with the public 58.3 %. The prevalence of reduced work ability was 13.9 %. The following factors were found to be associated with reduced work ability: age 50 years old or above PR = 2.58; 95 % CI 1.25–5.09; female PR = 2.77; 95 % CI 1.25–3.60; education up to secondary school PR = 2.37; 95 % CI 1.13–3.59; overall poor self-assessed health PR = 2.96; 95 % CI 1.32–3.93; signs and symptoms of depression PR = 4.86; 95 % CI 2.23–6.55; sedentariness PR = 3.00; 95 % CI 1.38–4.68 and poor social support at work PR = 4.01; 95 % CI 1.66–4.37.

ConclusionsMost of the participants showed good work ability, but some subjects had reduced work ability. This study makes a contribution to expanding the discussion about the factors associated with work ability toward proposing actions for maintaining that ability or helping recovery in the case of diminished ability. Such actions can help reduce work absenteeism and early retirement, both of which have a social and economic impact in Brazil. Studying the determinants of work ability and recommendations to address those determinants will help efforts to improve the quality of life of individuals, both at work and personally, and promote healthy aging.

KeywordsWorkers health Assessing work ability Population ageing Labor conditions  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Marluce Rodrigues Godinho - Rosangela Maria Greco - Maria Teresa Bustamante Teixeira - Liliane Reis Teixeira - Maximilian


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