|:: About News||:: Send News||:: News Service|
Why older workers are better at shrugging off stress
A report released in the UK this week says that our stress levels peak at about 50 to 55 years of age and decrease as we head towards retirement. It also says that the effects of work-related stress can last well into retirement.
The report, 'Ageing, work-related stress and health', was compiled by the Institute of Work, Health and Organisations in the UK. It is the first comprehensive report on work-related stress focusing specifically on age to be carried out in Britain and it was undertaken on behalf of three organisations that work with older people, the Age and Employment Network (TAEN), Age Concern and Help the Aged.
'Work-related stress is thought to be responsible for more lost working days than any other cause, and it is becoming clear that it is also one factor affecting older workers' willingness and ability to remain in the labour force,' explained Professor Amanda Griffiths, from the University of Nottingham, who led the research. 'Therefore, protecting tomorrow's older workers, as well as today's, will pay dividends, as older workers will form a major part of tomorrow's workforce.'
The report comes at an important time because working years in the UK are now becoming longer and many UK workers will be working beyond the traditional retirement ages of 60 for women and 65 for men.
Lower levels of stress were reported by older workers heading towards retirement and this may be because they have left more demanding jobs to do something easier. On the other hand, increasing seniority can also give workers more control over their working lives, which can reduce stress.
Chris Ball, chief executive of TAEN, said, 'This report fills an important gap in our understanding of how stressful work can impact upon people towards the end of their working lives and into retirement. Demographic changes and ageing populations have made extending working life a priority both in the UK and elsewhere.'
The report suggests that stressful situations should be identified and removed, where possible. One way of achieving this is to give older staff more control over their work, more flexible working hours and more recognition for the contributions they have made to their job.
Professor Griffiths said, 'As we get older, people's priorities may also change; they often have caring responsibilities or wish to spend time with grandchildren and develop other interests. Their work and career may not be their primary drivers. Making work attractive and flexible to allow older people to balance work and their other interests more easily may be one very important step forward.'
Contact person:For more information, please visit:
Institute of Work, Health and Organisations
Data Source Provider:Institute of Work, Health and Organisations
Document of reference:Griffiths, A., et al. (2009) Ageing, work-related stress and health.
Subject index:Employment issues ,Healthcare delivery/services,Life Sciences,Medicine, Health,Social Aspects
Programme Acronym: MS-UK C
Related News: How does stress influence bad decision-making?
Record control number (RCN):31393