Matching Work Capacity and Job Demands: Toward an Enhanced Measure of Work Ability

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The Work Ability Index (WAI), the dominant measure of work ability, provides little information for targeting workplace interventions. There are benefits of developing new measures that focus on self-rated capacity to meet job demands rather than on health subscales of the WAI.


Structural equation modeling with cross-sectional data from 186 underground coal miners aged 18 to 64 years was used to model multivariate relationships between the WAI subscales, worker autonomy, and relationships with management.


The results show differential associations between workplace factors and the WAI subscales, particularly self-rated capacity, highlighting potential intervention avenues not identifiable using traditional composite WAI scoring.


Focusing on self-rated work ability could be beneficial in clinical settings, provided measures are enhanced to capture a sufficient array of job demands.

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