This study's objective was to assess the effects of a 12-month physical exercise intervention on work ability (WAI) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in healthy working adults.
The study group had 371 participants, of which 338 (212 women and 126 men) were allocated in the exercise group and 33 (17 women and 16 men) in the control group. The exercise group underwent a 12-month exercise program followed by a 12-month follow-up. WAI and CRF were evaluated at baseline, and at 4, 8, 12, and 24 study months, in both exercise and control groups. The exercise group was divided into subgroups according to baseline WAI classifications (poor/moderate, good, excellent).
During the 12-month exercise intervention, the exercise group increased their leisure-time physical activity by 71% (p = 0.016) and improved the mean WAI by 3% and CRF by 7% (p
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Social reforms are often introduced solely on the basis of theoretical considerations without any empirical research. Thus, it is often an urgent matter to evaluate the real effects of a reform. In this investigation, the increased possibilities for abusers to obtain disability pensions that came into force in Sweden 1977-01-01 have been examined. A representative sample of 15 percent of all applications in the county of Ostergötland in 1975 has been compared with a corresponding one in 1978. As expected, the number of abusers of alcohol among the applicants increased. The proportion of male abusers rose from 13.5 in 1975 to 22 percent in 1978. Despite a levelling off of differences in the civil status in 1978, the abusers were still in a substantially weaker social position than the other applicants. In contrast to the other applicants, no traces of increased efforts towards vocational rehabilitation can be noted among the abusers in 1978. This is quite remarkable since, according to the preceding official report, liberalization was not meant to replace meaningful efforts of rehabilitation. In 1978, the whole group of applicants were younger and they lived more frequently in large, densely populated areas. Furthermore, the number of women increased so that they were in a majority among the applicants in 1978. These changes probably reflect structural changes in society, especially in the labour market. This is the final report of an independent study in the research project "Abuse of alcohol - Disability pension - Quality of life".
An expert evaluation of identifiability of cardiovascular diseases was carried out together with a clinical and functional examination of certain groups of miners of basic underground occupations at different ages and lengths of service, that showed a high incidence of cardiovascular diseases along with a low informative value of methodical approaches, indices and criteria used for their diagnosis in conducting preliminary and periodic health check-ups. To improve the quality of diagnosis of diseases of the circulatory system it is necessary that standardized methods of investigation should be employed together with consistent indices of high informative value as well as a purposive training of physicians.
The purpose of this article is to investigate actions taken by the Social Insurance Agency (SIA) for long-term sickness absentees and possible associations of this with future sick leave or disability pension.
For 384 long-term sickness absentees who had had a multidisciplinary medical assessment (MMA) during 2001-2006, three types of data were obtained: (1) case file information about SIA actions, (2) suggested rehabilitation measures from the MMA and (3) sickness absence and disability pension data.
Most individuals had been subject to a range of actions by the SIA. Sixty percent had been invited to a coordination meeting, and half of those who assessed by the MMA for vocational rehabilitation were approved to get it by the SIA. Few SIA actions were associated with full or partial return to work.
Although the studied individuals had been on sick leave for a long time, the number of SIA actions related to vocational rehabilitation was limited and came late in the sick-leave spell. The information from the MMA was often not used as a basis for further SIA action and seldom resulted in return to work. The positive MMA views on the potential of vocational rehabilitation were not met by SIA actions.
Suggestions on vocational rehabilitation from a medical assessment was in many cases not used by the social insurance agency in relationship to long-term sickness absentees. Active rehabilitation measures by the social insurance agency were few and came late in the sickness absence process. Few of the activities taken by the social insurance agency enhanced return to work.
This article summarizes the most important results of the Turku Conference on active strategies for an aging workforce, which took place in Turku/Finland in 1999. About 140 experts from all EU-member states participated. The article can be seen as a contribution to the current change in the debate on labor market policy concerning older workers in Germany.
In order to test the hypothesis about rapid involution of functional parameters in residents in the Polar region, the functional parameters in men of 20-69 years have been compared in cross-sectional study. There is a tendency to a steady decrease of height, strength indices, parameter of muscle working capacity, balancing of the body when standing on one leg, vital capacity, cardiac output, tolerance to hypoxemia, level of physical health, adrenocorticotropic hormone and testosterone levels and an increase of body mass index, index of coordination (impairment of motor coordination), time of visual-motor response, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, index of functional changes, insulin level. More pronounced decline of functions is observed in men after 50 years.
Despite the widespread assessment of physical fitness in occupational medicine and health services, only a few validity studies have been made of the fitness tests used in relation to job demands. The purpose of this study was to assess the physical fitness of female home care workers (n = 132) in relation to age and to evaluate whether the fitness tests used predict work ability over a 5-year period of follow-up. Muscle endurance declined by 18% to 37%, and isometric muscle strength by 10% to 18%, from the youngest (21 to 35 years) to the oldest (45 to 59 years) age group. The proportion of those subjects who could be classified below the average age-related fitness categories according to the maximal oxygen consumption was highest (50%) for the 21-to-35 age group. The logistic regression model showed that obesity (odds ratio [OR] = 7.51) and poor results on the sit-up (OR, 8.9), balance (OR, 6.5), and weight-lifting (OR, 4.6) tests predicted the highest risk for reduced work ability, according to the work ability index used in the 5-year follow-up. Moreover, average results for the trunk side-bending test (OR, 4.6), poor results for the squatting test (OR, 3.8), poor knee extension strength (OR, 4.2), and the average maximal oxygen consumption (l.min-1) (OR, 3.1) indicated a high risk for reduction in work ability. The physical fitness tests were strongly associated with the physical demands of home care work and were relevant for the evaluation of work-related fitness among home care workers.