The Aging Worker

Due to demographic change people have to work longer and longer. Knowledge about the conditions under which work ability and health can be maintained into older working age and also beyond retirement is crucial. In several projects we aim to translate findings from our basic research into the work setting.

  • In the Demopass project the fit between individual abilities and goals with the demands at the workplace and the company culture was examined within companies and related to outcomes like health, productivity, and satisfaction.
  • In the Mobilis study we extended on previous findings that cognitively demanding work might buffer age-related cognitive decline (e.g., Schooler and colleagues). Within an automotive company we examined if frequent task changes over a period of 15 years had an effect on brain plasticity, cognitive abilities, and personality characteristics.
  • Finally, cognitive demands are low particularly for long-term unemployed persons and it can be assumed that this leads to accelerated cognitive decline and reduced work ability. In an evaluation study for the Brandenburg Ministry of Work, Social Issues, Women, and Family we asked if computerized cognitive training could help to improve general cognitive abilities and thus work ability in older unemployed.