Physical Capabilities and Occupational Health of Older Workers

Julie A. Maertens, Stefanie E. Putter, Peter Y. Chen, Manfred Diehl and Yueng-Hsiang (Emily) Huang

in The Oxford Handbook of Work and Aging

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780195385052
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Physical Capabilities and Occupational Health of Older Workers

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  • Organizational Psychology



This chapter reviews research findings related to how changes in physical capabilities due to aging may have a bearing on the occupational health of older workers. Although older age is typically associated with decreasing physical and mental capabilities and an increasing likelihood of decline in performance, this is not consistent among all workers. Some people do undergo functional degeneration and face occupational repercussions, but others do not, continuing instead to experience age-related benefits that exert protective effects in terms of physical, mental, and social well-being at work. Relevant studies and implications for both individuals and organizations are discussed.

Keywords: occupational health; age; older worker; physical capabilities; mental well-being; social well-being

Article.  16900 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology

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