Determination of a physical health index based on the national population health survey and an evaluation of the index on a workplace sample
Rey, Irene Helene
Master of Science
MetadataShow full item record
There have been myriads of health factors identified in the literature that influence human health and well-being. Often times, health is broken up into several dimensions such as social, physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological, and intellectual. Physical health status, as opposed to health status, only focuses on the measures that influence physical health. In essence, it can be viewed as a complex on it's own; the complexity of the interactions that exist between the various measures of physical health. In the current investigation, the third wave (1998/1999) of the National Population Health Survey (NPHS) was used to derive a physical health index based on the number of chronic conditions reported. Regression analysis was conducted on the NPHS and identified variables that predict the number of chronic conditions reported. These variables were utilized to derive a physical health questionnaire which was delivered to 262 full-time Lakehead University employees yielding a response rate of 38%. Regression analysis performed on the workplace data identified have statistically signifcant (p < 0 .001) predictors of the number of chronic conditions reported. These variables included the number of jobs an employee held, the level of physical activity for a usual day, the number of repetitive strain injuries, a distress score, and a measure o f the respondent's general health. The physical health equation was then applied to individuals in the NPHS that worked full-time hours (>30 hrs/week) and were between the ages of 22 to 64 as identified in the demographics of the workplace data set. An independent test identified that the physical health index o f the workplace (N=100, 1.75 ± 0 .79,) was statistically different (p < 0.001) from the physical health index of the NPHS data set (N=6813, 281 ± 0.75). The variables that led to a statistical difference in the scores of the physical health index included the number of jobs, level of physical activity for a usual day, the number of RSI reported and distress scores. More research is needed to validate the physical health index using a drSerent sample There is also a need to apply the physical health index to another Ontario or Canadian University as well as a different workforce, to determine if any of the characteristics of physical health are unique to the University in the present investigation.