Decline of functional capacity in healthy aging workers

Remko Soer, Sandra Brouwer, Jan H Geertzen, Cees van der Schans, Johan W. Groothoff, Michiel F Reneman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: (1) To study the natural decline in functional capacity (FC) of healthy aging workers; (2) to compare FC to categories of workload; and (3) to study the differences in decline between men and women.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional design.

SETTING: A rehabilitation center at a university medical center.

PARTICIPANTS: Volunteer sample of healthy workers (N=701) between 20 and 60 years of age, working at least 20 hours per week in the year prior to the study. Subjects were recruited via local press and personal networks.

INTERVENTIONS: FC was measured with a 14-item Functional Capacity Evaluation. Demographics and health status were measured with a general demographic questionnaire and the RAND-36 questionnaire.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Workload was expressed by the workload categories, as described by the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Descriptive statistics were used to present FC of workers. Change in FC by age was tested with segmented regression analyses with a cutoff point at 45 years of age.

RESULTS: Significant but small declines of FC under age 45 years were present in repetitive reaching, hand dexterity, and energetic capacity. Up to 45 years of age, hand and finger strength increased on average. Over 45 years of age, lifting, carrying, hand and finger strength, and coordinative tests declined more compared with the group aged less than 45 years. Work capacity of men and women working in sedentary and light work was sufficient in all age categories. There are no differences in decline between men and women.

CONCLUSIONS: FC of healthy workers declines with age. This study demonstrates substantial variation in the type of FC decline among healthy workers between 20 and 60 years of age. Material handling, hand and finger strength, and hand coordination appear to decline the most in workers over age 45 years. The objective of rehabilitation is to maximize an individual's FC, particularly with respect to environmental demand. Thus, return to work programs must appreciate both FC and workplace demands in an effort to restore/enhance equilibrium between the 2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2326-2332
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Volume93
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • adults
  • aging
  • body weights and measures
  • cross-sectional studies
  • health status
  • mental health
  • occupational health
  • rehabilitation centers
  • socioeconomic factors
  • work capacity evaluation
  • workload

Cite this

Soer, Remko ; Brouwer, Sandra ; Geertzen, Jan H ; van der Schans, Cees ; Groothoff, Johan W. ; Reneman, Michiel F. / Decline of functional capacity in healthy aging workers. In: Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation. 2012 ; Vol. 93, No. 12. pp. 2326-2332.
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title = "Decline of functional capacity in healthy aging workers",
abstract = "OBJECTIVES: (1) To study the natural decline in functional capacity (FC) of healthy aging workers; (2) to compare FC to categories of workload; and (3) to study the differences in decline between men and women.DESIGN: Cross-sectional design.SETTING: A rehabilitation center at a university medical center.PARTICIPANTS: Volunteer sample of healthy workers (N=701) between 20 and 60 years of age, working at least 20 hours per week in the year prior to the study. Subjects were recruited via local press and personal networks.INTERVENTIONS: FC was measured with a 14-item Functional Capacity Evaluation. Demographics and health status were measured with a general demographic questionnaire and the RAND-36 questionnaire.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Workload was expressed by the workload categories, as described by the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Descriptive statistics were used to present FC of workers. Change in FC by age was tested with segmented regression analyses with a cutoff point at 45 years of age.RESULTS: Significant but small declines of FC under age 45 years were present in repetitive reaching, hand dexterity, and energetic capacity. Up to 45 years of age, hand and finger strength increased on average. Over 45 years of age, lifting, carrying, hand and finger strength, and coordinative tests declined more compared with the group aged less than 45 years. Work capacity of men and women working in sedentary and light work was sufficient in all age categories. There are no differences in decline between men and women.CONCLUSIONS: FC of healthy workers declines with age. This study demonstrates substantial variation in the type of FC decline among healthy workers between 20 and 60 years of age. Material handling, hand and finger strength, and hand coordination appear to decline the most in workers over age 45 years. The objective of rehabilitation is to maximize an individual's FC, particularly with respect to environmental demand. Thus, return to work programs must appreciate both FC and workplace demands in an effort to restore/enhance equilibrium between the 2.",
keywords = "adults, aging, body weights and measures, cross-sectional studies, health status, mental health, occupational health, rehabilitation centers, socioeconomic factors, work capacity evaluation, workload, volwassene, veroudering, lichaamsgewicht en -maten, cross-sectionele studies, vrouwelijk, gezondheidsstatus, mensen, mannelijk, geestelijke gezondheid, middelbaar, bedrijfsgezondheidszorg, revalidatiecentra, sociaaleconomische factoren, werkcapaciteitsevaluatie, werklast, tijdschriftartikel, research support, non-U.S. Gov't",
author = "Remko Soer and Sandra Brouwer and Geertzen, {Jan H} and {van der Schans}, Cees and Groothoff, {Johan W.} and Reneman, {Michiel F}",
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Decline of functional capacity in healthy aging workers. / Soer, Remko; Brouwer, Sandra; Geertzen, Jan H; van der Schans, Cees; Groothoff, Johan W.; Reneman, Michiel F.

In: Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, Vol. 93, No. 12, 12.2012, p. 2326-2332.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Decline of functional capacity in healthy aging workers

AU - Soer, Remko

AU - Brouwer, Sandra

AU - Geertzen, Jan H

AU - van der Schans, Cees

AU - Groothoff, Johan W.

AU - Reneman, Michiel F

N1 - Copyright © 2012 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PY - 2012/12

Y1 - 2012/12

N2 - OBJECTIVES: (1) To study the natural decline in functional capacity (FC) of healthy aging workers; (2) to compare FC to categories of workload; and (3) to study the differences in decline between men and women.DESIGN: Cross-sectional design.SETTING: A rehabilitation center at a university medical center.PARTICIPANTS: Volunteer sample of healthy workers (N=701) between 20 and 60 years of age, working at least 20 hours per week in the year prior to the study. Subjects were recruited via local press and personal networks.INTERVENTIONS: FC was measured with a 14-item Functional Capacity Evaluation. Demographics and health status were measured with a general demographic questionnaire and the RAND-36 questionnaire.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Workload was expressed by the workload categories, as described by the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Descriptive statistics were used to present FC of workers. Change in FC by age was tested with segmented regression analyses with a cutoff point at 45 years of age.RESULTS: Significant but small declines of FC under age 45 years were present in repetitive reaching, hand dexterity, and energetic capacity. Up to 45 years of age, hand and finger strength increased on average. Over 45 years of age, lifting, carrying, hand and finger strength, and coordinative tests declined more compared with the group aged less than 45 years. Work capacity of men and women working in sedentary and light work was sufficient in all age categories. There are no differences in decline between men and women.CONCLUSIONS: FC of healthy workers declines with age. This study demonstrates substantial variation in the type of FC decline among healthy workers between 20 and 60 years of age. Material handling, hand and finger strength, and hand coordination appear to decline the most in workers over age 45 years. The objective of rehabilitation is to maximize an individual's FC, particularly with respect to environmental demand. Thus, return to work programs must appreciate both FC and workplace demands in an effort to restore/enhance equilibrium between the 2.

AB - OBJECTIVES: (1) To study the natural decline in functional capacity (FC) of healthy aging workers; (2) to compare FC to categories of workload; and (3) to study the differences in decline between men and women.DESIGN: Cross-sectional design.SETTING: A rehabilitation center at a university medical center.PARTICIPANTS: Volunteer sample of healthy workers (N=701) between 20 and 60 years of age, working at least 20 hours per week in the year prior to the study. Subjects were recruited via local press and personal networks.INTERVENTIONS: FC was measured with a 14-item Functional Capacity Evaluation. Demographics and health status were measured with a general demographic questionnaire and the RAND-36 questionnaire.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Workload was expressed by the workload categories, as described by the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Descriptive statistics were used to present FC of workers. Change in FC by age was tested with segmented regression analyses with a cutoff point at 45 years of age.RESULTS: Significant but small declines of FC under age 45 years were present in repetitive reaching, hand dexterity, and energetic capacity. Up to 45 years of age, hand and finger strength increased on average. Over 45 years of age, lifting, carrying, hand and finger strength, and coordinative tests declined more compared with the group aged less than 45 years. Work capacity of men and women working in sedentary and light work was sufficient in all age categories. There are no differences in decline between men and women.CONCLUSIONS: FC of healthy workers declines with age. This study demonstrates substantial variation in the type of FC decline among healthy workers between 20 and 60 years of age. Material handling, hand and finger strength, and hand coordination appear to decline the most in workers over age 45 years. The objective of rehabilitation is to maximize an individual's FC, particularly with respect to environmental demand. Thus, return to work programs must appreciate both FC and workplace demands in an effort to restore/enhance equilibrium between the 2.

KW - adults

KW - aging

KW - body weights and measures

KW - cross-sectional studies

KW - health status

KW - mental health

KW - occupational health

KW - rehabilitation centers

KW - socioeconomic factors

KW - work capacity evaluation

KW - workload

KW - volwassene

KW - veroudering

KW - lichaamsgewicht en -maten

KW - cross-sectionele studies

KW - vrouwelijk

KW - gezondheidsstatus

KW - mensen

KW - mannelijk

KW - geestelijke gezondheid

KW - middelbaar

KW - bedrijfsgezondheidszorg

KW - revalidatiecentra

KW - sociaaleconomische factoren

KW - werkcapaciteitsevaluatie

KW - werklast

KW - tijdschriftartikel

KW - research support, non-U.S. Gov't

U2 - 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.07.009

DO - 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.07.009

M3 - Article

VL - 93

SP - 2326

EP - 2332

JO - Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation

JF - Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation

SN - 0003-9993

IS - 12

ER -