Presentation T P45

T P45 (Poster Presentation):
Efficient matching of physical work load with functional capacity in healthy workers

Presented by: Remko Soer


Soer R1,2,3, Hollak N4, Deijs M1, Van der Woude LH1,4, Reneman MF1,2

  1. University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Center for Rehabilitation
  2. University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen Spine Center,
  3. Saxion Universities of Applied Sciences, Expertise Center of Health, Social Care and Technology, Enschede,
  4. Center for Human Movement Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands



Prevention of disability due to musculoskeletal disorders is of great importance for keeping workers sustained employed. Valid and short screeningmethods on disbalances between work load and functional capacity are unavailable. The objectives of this study are to: 1. determine if functional capacity and physical work load can be matched. 2. determine the validity of normative values for functional capacity related to physical work load as a screening instrument for work ability.


Forty healthy working subjects were included in this study. Subjects were categorized into four physical work load categories (sedentary, light, moderate and heavy). Functional capacity was tested with a standardized Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) and physical work load was determined with an onsite Work Load Assessment (WLA). Physical work load was compared to functional capacity and normative values derived from previous research. Descriptive statistics and cutt-of scores were calculated.


88% Of the subjects scored higher on FCE than work load observed during WLA. The tenth percentile of normative values for functional capacity appeared valid in 98% for sedentary/light work for the subjects tested in this study. For moderate or heavy work, the thirtieth percentile of normative values appeared valid in 78% of all cases.


Functional capacity and physical work load can be matched in most instances, but exceptions should be kept in mind with regards to professions classified as moderate or heavy physical work, especially concerning lifting high. Normative values may be considered as an additional screening tool for balancing work load and capacity. Further research may focus on predictive validity and possibilities for prevention of musculoskeletal complaints on the workfloor

Schedule Details

Tuesday September 30
12:45 - 13:45 Poster Viewing
Session: Work capacity / ability