Ageing, working hours and work ability

G. Costa, S. Sartori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current paper reports the main results of several studies carried out on Italian workers using the work ability index as a complementary tool for workers' periodical health surveillance. The work ability index shows a general decreasing trend over the years, but it changes differently according to working conditions and personal health status. In jobs with higher mental involvement and autonomy, but lower physical constraint, it remains quite constant and high over the years, while it significantly decreases with a steeper trend the higher the physical work load and the lower the job control are. Sex and working hours appear to act concurrently in influencing work ability, particularly in association with more physically demanding jobs. It is therefore necessary to adopt flexible interventions, able to give ageing shift workers a proper support for maintaining a satisfactory work ability, by means of actions addressed both to work organization and psycho-physical conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1914-1930
Number of pages17
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Ageing
  • Health care workers
  • Shift work
  • Work ability
  • Working hours

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Psychology


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