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Work ability, health and sickness absence of brazilian female workers in a research center by age group

This study evaluated the work ability of female Brazilian workers by age group and occupation and analysed women's registered sickness absences during one year. The work ability of the women was assessed using the Work Ability Index, developed by Finnish researchers. The instrument is based on the self-perception of the workers and is composed of seven items. The research had been developed at the Center for Research and Development of a high-technology company. The final response rate of the subjects was 38%. This article includes only the female workers (n=53). The age of the subjects ranged from 35 to 54 years and 79% of them had undergraduate education in the University. The mean work ability was about the same in the younger and older female group. The analysis of the WAI items showed statistically significant difference in relation to the physical demands in the direction of the younger group. In relation to the number of diseases diagnosed by a physician, the sick leave during the past years and the mental resources, the older group had better performance. The promotion of activities should be planned with the aim to reduce the physical workload of the older employees and to prevent the most prevalent diseases of all employees.

aging workers; work ability; female workers; work ability index; gender

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