Lifestyle index and work ability

Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2006;19(3):170-7. doi: 10.2478/v10001-006-0021-x.


Objectives: In many countries around the world, negative changes in lifestyles are observed. The aim of this study was to analyze the influence of selected lifestyle indicators on work ability among professionally active individuals.

Materials and methods: The study was performed in the randomly selected group of full-time employees (94 men and 93 women) living in the city of Lódź. Work ability was measured with the work ability index and lifestyle characteristic was assessed with the healthy lifestyle index. We analyzed four lifestyle indicators: non-smoking, healthy weight, fiber intake per day, and regular physical activity. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals to control the effects of lifestyle and work ability.

Results: The analysis of lifestyle index indicated that 27.7, 30.9, 27.7 and 11.7% of men and 15.1, 21.5, 35.5 and 26.9% of women scored 0, 1, 2, 3 points, respectively. Only 2.1% of men and 1.1% of women met the criteria for the healthy lifestyle (score 4). Work ability was excellent, good and moderate in 38.3, 46.8 and 14.9% of men, and in 39.8, 14.9 and 19.3% of women, respectively. Poor work ability was found in 9.7% women. Work ability was strongly associated with lifestyle in both men and women. Among men with index score = 0, the risk of moderate work ability was nearly seven times higher than in men whose lifestyle index score exceeded 1 or more points (OR = 6.67; 95% CI: 1.94-22.90). Among women with lifestyle index score = 0, the risk of moderate or lower work ability was also highly elevated as compared to those with lifestyle index = 1 or higher (OR = 14.44; 95% CI: 3.53-59.04).

Conclusions: Prophylactic schedules associated with the improvement of lifestyles should be addressed to all adults. Future programs aimed at increasing work ability should consider work- and lifestyle-related factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aptitude
  • Dietary Fiber / metabolism
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Poland
  • Regression Analysis
  • Smoking
  • Work*