The Impact of Physical Work Demands on Need for Recovery, Employment Status, Retirement Intentions, and Ability to Extend Working Careers: A Longitudinal Study Among Older Workers

Fleur G Gommans*, Nicole W H Jansen, Martin G Mackey, Dave Stynen, Andries de Grip, Ijmert Kant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Prospectively investigating whether different approaches of physical work demands are associated with need for recovery (NFR), employment status, retirement intentions, and ability to prolong working life among older employees from the industry and health care sector.

METHODS: A subsample from the Maastricht Cohort Study was studied (n = 1126). Poisson, Cox, and logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate outcomes.

RESULTS: Perceiving physical work demands as strenuous was associated with higher NFR. Continuous physical strain was associated with being out of employment 4 years later. Employees with the highest amount of physical work demands perceived they were less able to prolong working life, although no significant associations between physical work demands and retirement intentions were found.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, physical work demands were associated with adverse outcomes, with divergent insights for the different approaches of physical work demands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e140-e151
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Age Factors
  • Employment/statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Care Sector
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perception
  • Physical Exertion/physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rest
  • Retirement
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload/psychology

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