Saf Health Work.  2016 Mar;7(1):43-48. 10.1016/

Effects of Work-Related Stress on Work Ability Index among Iranian Workers

  • 1Department of Occupational Health Engineering, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.
  • 2Department of Ergonomics, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
  • 3Research Center for Prevention of Oral and Dental Diseases, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Work Ability Index (WAI) is a well-known and valid self-report tool that has been widely used in various studies to identify and avoid early retirement and work-related disability. Nevertheless, very few studies have been carried out to evaluate work ability in Iran. We aimed to investigate the WAI and the effect of work-related stress on it among Iranian workers.
A cross-sectional, descriptive and analytic study was carried out among 449 workers from five working sectors in three big cities of Iran. Work ability and work-related stress were measured using the Persian version of WAI and the Persian version of Health and Safety Executive Stress Indicator Tool.
More than a third of the workers surveyed (34.70%) did not have an appropriate level of work ability (WAI < 37). There was a significant correlation between subscales of work-related stress and the mean score of WAI. Furthermore, the variables of body mass index, sleep quality, exercise activity, job tenure, and three subscales of work-related stress including demands, supervisor support, and role were significant predictors of WAI.
According to the results of this study, the interventional programs must be focused on improving supervisors support, eliminating ambiguity and conflicts in the role of workers in their job and organization, reducing job demands, improving sleep quality, and increasing exercise activity.


Health and Safety Executive Indicator Tool; Iranian workers; Work Ability Index; work-related stress
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