Influence of age on functional capacity and work ability in Chilean workers: a cross-sectional study
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Marzuca-Nassr, Gabriel Nasri
Soto-Rodríguez, Francisco Javier
Objective: To determine if there are differences in functional capacity and work ability between older and younger active workers in public institutions, and to relate functional capacity to work ability. Methods: This cross-sectional study evaluated 360 subjects from two public institutions, a university and a high-complexity regional hospital. The participants were divided into 3 age ranges 40–49, 50–59 and ≥ 60 years. The following evaluations were applied: a multidimensional assessment questionnaire, work ability and functional capacity using physical tests (strength, flexibility and balance). Results: There are no significant differences in work ability among the different age groups (P > 0.05). Significant differences were found according to age group in 30-s chair-stand test (30-s CST), 1 repetition maximum (1RM) extending the knee 90° (1RM-leg extension) and 1RM of handgrip strength (1RM-handgrip), upper body flexibility, lower body flexibility, static balance or dynamic balance (P < 0.05). Only the variables 30-s CST (rs = 0.13, P = 0.018), lower body flexibility (rs = 0.13, P = 0.012) and static balance (rs = 0.13, P = 0.012) were related to work ability. Conclusions: There are differences in functional capacity as the workers’ ages increase. By contrast, work ability does not present any differences when comparing older and younger adults. Some physical tests of the lower extremities presented a small correlation with work ability.
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