Active commuting and work ability: A cross-sectional study of chicken meat industry workers in Thailand
AuthorPhanprasit, Wantanee; Chotiphan, Chotirot; Konthonbut, Pajaree; Laohaudomchok, Wisanti; Ikäheimo, Tiina; Jaakkola, Jouni J.K.; Näyhä, Simo
There is ample evidence regarding positive health effects of cycling or walking to work (active commuting [AC]). However, little is known about the effects of AC on work ability. Therefore, we examined 422 Thai chicken meat industry workers who assessed their current work ability (CWA) compared to their lifetime best by assigning scores ranging from 0 to 10. The CWA was compared between active and non-active commuters using linear regression, cumulative distributions, and quantile regression. Overall, 46 workers (11%) were active commuters. The average CWA score was 8.2 (standard deviation, 1.3; range, 4–10). It was higher by 0.5 units (95% confidence interval: 0.2–0.8) in active commuters. Cumulative distributions showed higher CWA scores among active commuters throughout the CWA scale, with the greatest difference (one CWA unit) at scores of 8–9. This benefit of AC persisted after adjustments and was observed at the 33rd, 50th, and 67th percentiles of CWA but not at percentiles higher or lower than the aforementioned ones. The model-predicted CWA scores for selected combinations of personal and work-related factors were up to two units higher among active commuters. In conclusion, active commuters have better work ability than non-active commuters. However, the potential effects may be limited to workers with good work ability. Relevance to the industry: Since commuting is a necessary daily activity for most of the working population, AC may offer great potential to produce positive effects on work ability and health. AC should be encouraged and included in health promotion programs at national and organizational levels.