Aging workers

As fertility rates fall and life expectancy climbs, the average age of Canada’s population continues to rise. This has widespread implications for social policies and the world of work. IWH research explores these implications, such as the effects of aging on work ability, injury rates, injury and disease prevention, productivity, accommodation and return to work. It also looks at the workplace and social programs that will allow aging workers to remain at work in a healthy and productive way until they transition into retirement.

Featured

A tired worker holds her head in her hands as she sits at her desk in a dark office
At Work article

Boomers with and without chronic conditions have similar needs for workplace supports

IWH study of older workers finds those in good health similar to those with arthritis or diabetes in using—and benefiting from—programs such as flex-time and telework
Published: February 12, 2019
Logo of the Ontario Occupational Health Nurses Association
IWH in the media

Implications of an aging workforce for work injury, recovery, returning to work and remaining at work

As the average age of Canadian workers continues to rise, employers may wonder about the implications on work injury, recovery, return to work and remaining at work. Some may expect that risks of injury are higher among older workers, that their injuries are more severe, or that timelines to recover and return to work are longer. However, findings from recent studies, including several conducted at IWH, paint a more nuanced picture. This article by IWH summarizes the evidence.
Published: OOHNA Journal, April 2019
Journal article
A tired worker holds her head in her hands as she sits at her desk in a dark office
At Work article

Boomers with and without chronic conditions have similar needs for workplace supports

Yes, older workers with diabetes or arthritis experience fatigue and pain. But they're not that different from healthy peers in how much they need, or use, workplace accommodations, an IWH study has found.
Published: February 2019
Journal article
Journal article

The associations between falls, fall injuries, and labor market outcomes among U.S. workers 65 years and older

Published: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, October 2018
Journal article
Journal article
Journal article

Early labor force exit subsequent to permanently impairing occupational injury or illness among workers 50-64 years of age

Published: American Journal of Industrial Medicine, February 2018
Two senior workers in a greenhouse
At Work article

Paper on aging and MSDs draws on WHO framework

CRE-MSD position paper by IWH researchers draws on the World Health Organization's framework on healthy aging to prevent MSDs among older workers.
Published: February 2017
Journal article
Journal article

A systematic review of interventions to promote work participation in older workers

Published: Journal of Safety Research, January 2017
Project
Project

Conceal or reveal? Facilitators and barriers to older workers' communication of accommodation needs

Little is known about how older workers make decisions about whether or not to communicate their job accommodation needs and, if so, to whom, when and how. An IWH study is exploring the barriers and facilitators to the communication of baby boomers’ workplace accommodation needs.
Status: Ongoing