How Do Municipal Workers Perceive the Changes in Activity Demands, Based on Age?

  • C. A. RibeiroEmail author
  • T. P. Cotrim
  • V. Reis
  • M. J. Guerreiro
  • S. M. Candeias
  • A. S. Janicas
  • M. Costa
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 826)


Ageing is a complex and natural process that has been extensively studied. Several studies indicate that high physical exposure and job strain in midlife were strongly associated with the severity of disability in later life. In order to characterize the activity demands of the work, according to age, a prospective study was designed. In 2015 the sample included 885 participants and, in 2017, the follow up comprised 1167 participants. A self-administered questionnaire was used. The questionnaire was composed of questions related to sociodemographic characteristics, as well as related to the physical activity demands, classified through a Likert scale of 5 points. The results found that the postural characteristics and manual handling of loads obtained more favourable results in the year 2017, with the categories never/seldom presenting higher percentages. However, when we evaluated the age distribution, older workers presented a higher percentage of physical demands in their work activity, in both moments of the study, such as manual handling loads between 1–4 kg, working with trunk flexion and rotation, and precision tasks. Also, older workers belong mainly to the operational assistant category and have fewer training opportunities. The results indicate that is necessary to implement strategies for age management, so that older workers can remain active and healthy.


Age Municipal workers Activity demands Ergonomics Occupational Health 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ergonomics LaboratoryUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.CIAUD, Faculdade de ArquiteturaUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Health and Safety DepartmentMunicipality of SintraSintraPortugal

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