Risk factors in health, work environment, smoking status, and organizational context for work disability

Am J Ind Med. 2003 Nov;44(5):492-501. doi: 10.1002/ajim.10298.


Background: This study examines the associations between health, work environment exposures, smoking status, and organizational context and work disability.

Methods: In a sample of 3,318 Danish employees, respondents were interviewed by telephone in 1995 about health, work environment, smoking status and organizational context of the workplace. In 1997, a follow-up to assess employment status was conducted using The Statistical Register of Transfer Payments, Statistics Denmark.

Results: Work disability is predicted by work environment, smoking status of the individual employee, and by organizational level factors at the workplace. Although poor mental health, chronic bronchitis or musculoskeletal symptoms in neck or shoulders were equally distributed at baseline among type of company, the 2-year incidence of work disability was higher in traditionally organized workplaces than in flexibly organized workplaces.

Conclusion: The study suggests a potential for reducing health-related work disability from work through flexible organization of the workplace.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Workplace / organization & administration*
  • Workplace / statistics & numerical data