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Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2008 Jan;81(3):311-20. Epub 2007 Jun 19.

Differences between younger and older workers in the need for recovery after work.

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Progecov-Securex Occupational Health Service, Vogelmarkt 11, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.



The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis whether ageing workers have a higher need for recovery than younger workers.


1100 subjects (84.3% participation rate) employed in the public sector participated in a cross-sectional questionnaire study. The subjects were divided into two age groups: older workers (> or =45 years) and younger workers (<45 years). The dependent outcome variable was assessed by "The Need for Recovery Scale" questionnaire. A need for recovery score higher than 45 was defined as a high need for recovery. A standardized questionnaire was used to assess psychosocial and physical work strain. Other occupational factors were included: part-time or full-time work, shift work and more than one employment. The following personal and social life and family related factors were also considered: gender, presence of chronic disease, degree of ability to cope with stress, number of children at home, taking care of disabled or elderly people, degree of satisfaction on family and social relationships. Stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis was used to examine the presence of a high need for recovery in older workers.


The mean recovery score was significantly higher in the group of the older workers (40.9) as compared to the younger workers (33.6) (P < 0.005). In the final multivariate logistic regression model the older age group had a significantly higher risk for the presence of a high need for recovery versus the younger group (OR 1.56, 95%CI 1.15-2.11). Gender, presence of musculoskeletal disorder, work pressure, monotonous work, social support from superiors, full time work and unsatisfactory social contacts were also significantly associated with the need for recovery.


The hypothesis that ageing workers have a higher need for recovery than younger workers was confirmed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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