Objective: To identify dimensions of health associated with work ability and to verify whether such relationships are influenced by demographic or occupational characteristics.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out, including 224 employees of an employee health insurance and retirement savings company in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, in 2001. Subjects responded to self-administered questionnaires evaluating demographic and occupational characteristics, job satisfaction, health, and work ability. Associations between variables were measured using Chi-square tests, analysis of variance, and analysis of covariance.
Results: Occupational and demographic variables significantly associated with work ability were time in job (p=0.0423) and job satisfaction (p=0.0072). All dimensions of health evaluated were significantly associated with work ability (p<0.0001), and were independent of demographic and occupational characteristics.
Conclusions: Results showed that, independently of other characteristics, better physical and mental health are associated with greater work ability. This provides evidence of the importance of considering health in all its dimensions.