Prof. Panayota Sourtzi RN, PhD.

Professor in Occupational Health Nursing, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece


Health Promotion for Older Workers

Populations are ageing mainly because of decreasing fertility rates and extended life expectancy; these developments lead to ageing working populations because national social security systems increase the retirement age. Today’s workers over the age of 45 are expected to stay longer at work than it was expected when they started their careers and this creates the need for developing appropriate and responsive to their needs health promotion programmes not only for work related health problems but also for lifestyle threats.

Research evidence is being accumulated showing that health promotion interventions tailor made to the needs of older workers can succeed in sustaining workability and reduce the consequences of work related hazards as well as those related to lifestyle habits. These interventions however, are not yet an everyday practice in occupational health services, mainly because of the rapid changes incurred due to the financial crisis that caused cutbacks even in the health and safety measures required by law.

Occupational Health Services and more specifically Occupational Health Nurses need to take into consideration the special health promotion needs of older workers and use evidence based work practices and health promotion interventions to respond to these needs in order to succeed to sustain the workability and quality of life of older workers both at work and outside it.

In this presentation the latest evidence on health promotion interventions for older workers effectiveness will be presented and proposals for implementing them in the workplace will be discussed.