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Association between work unit prevalence of poor work ability and social capital – a cross-sectional analysis of 63 public sector work units

ISSN 2223-6775 Ukrainian journal of occupational health Vol.15, No 4, 2019

Association between work unit prevalence of poor work ability and social capital – a cross-sectional analysis of 63 public sector work units

Philippe Kiss1,2, Marc De Meester1,2, Tage S. Kristensen3, Els Clays2, Lutgart Braeckman2

1Securex Occupational Health Service, Belgium

2Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, Belgium

3Task-Consult, Gilleleje, Denmark

Full article (PDF), ENG

Purpose. The aim of the study was to explore the association between work unit prevalence of poor work ability and social capital within a public sector population.

Methods. 836 subjects belonging to 63 well defined work units (mean response rate per work unit: 84.8%) in seven public sector organizations took part in a cross-sectional questionnaire study.

Associations between poor work ability (Work Ability Index <37), physical workload, need for recovery and social capital were explored on work unit level using bivariate correlations and multiple linear regression analysis.

Results. Significant correlations were found between work ability, work unit social capital (r: -0.311) and high need for recovery (r: 0.501).

In the multivariate analysis need for recovery (standardized β 0.521) and workplace social capital (standardized β -0.321) were significantly associated with work ability at work unit level.

Conclusions. The findings of our study are suggestive for an important role of need for recovery and workplace social capital in maintaining work ability in the public sector. Factors that decrease need for recovery and increase workplace social capital need to be considered for improving work ability.

Key Words: work ability; need for recovery; workplace social capital; physical workload; public sector


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