Aging and Working Capacity
Report of a WHO Study Group
Technical Report Series, No 835
World Health Organization
ISBN-13    9789241208352 ISBN-10    924120835X
Order Number    11000835 Format    E-book collection (PDF)
Price    CHF    10.00 / US$    12.00 Developing countries:    CHF    7.00
English     1993        55   pages
Table of contents
Related Publications
Translation(s) available
Explores the large number of factors that influence both the health of aging workers and their performance on the job. Citing global demographic trends that point to an increasingly aged workforce, the report emphasizes specific measures that can help prevent a premature decline in work capacity and thus contribute to economic productivity. Fundamental questions considered include the nature of age-related changes in mental and physical abilities and the extent to which these changes are compatible with work demands. Factors that can help protect workers against disability are also considered.
The opening section reviews what is known about age-related changes that may impair performance and thus call for adjustments in either the workplace or the assignment of responsibilities and job tasks. Changes considered include a decline in muscular, cardiovascular, and respiratory functions and in vision and hearing. Readers are also reminded of certain areas in which older workers continue to perform at a very high level.
Other sections summarize data on the health problems of aging workers and discuss different working conditions of special concern to older workers. Stressful work environments, such as shiftwork and conditions of heat and cold, are considered in a separate section, which concentrates on differences in the adaptive capacity of younger and older workers. The remaining sections outline different health promotion strategies for aging workers and describe measures that can support work capacity as workers age.