1st International PEROSH Conference on Prolonging Working Life

Update 30th March 2020: Due to the COVID-19 situation we are changing the format to an online-conference the 25-26th May. Information about how to connect online for presenters as well as participants will follow shortly. The only requirement for presenters is to have the Chrome browser installed. A pdf of the Book of Abstracts will be send to registered participants before the conference.

Due to demographic changes across Europe, sometimes referred to as the ‘ageing society’, there is a strong political drive to maintain the labour force by prolonging working life, for example through increasing the retirement age. However, individual retirement intentions and the timing of retirement is an outcome of complex and dynamic processes that may not be in line with the intentions of political reforms.

The PEROSH project ‘Prolonging Working Life’ was initiated in 2018, and aims to determine push and stay factors regarding labour market participation of elderly workers across different European countries. Considering different regulations and cultures, the project wants to support and improve initiatives for preserving elderly workers at the labour market across Europe.

As part of the project an international conference for the PEROSH institutions and close collaborators will be held 25-26th May 2020 at the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, Denmark. The aim of this conference is to share knowledge and stimulate networking within the PEROSH institutions about the topic of prolonging working life.

Date: 25-26th May 2020

Location: Online – hosted by the National Research Centre for the Working Environment

Cost: Participation is free

Registration Registration – please use this link to register, and to receive a free version of the Book of Abstracts (note that the ‘dietary requirement’ part is not relevant as the conference has changed to online format)”: https://arbejdsmiljoforskning.wufoo.com/forms/prolonging-working-life-2526-may-2020/

Abstract submission: deadline is now closed

Topics for the conference:

  • Physical/ergonomic work demands
  • Psychosocial work factors
  • Senior policies at the workplace
  • Country specific labor market policies on age (early retirement, unemployment)
  • Practical implementation of good senior practice at workplaces
  • Age discrimination
  • New technologies, digitalization
  • Individual factors and skills
  • Possibilities for changing “track” (other work tasks, change of job type)
  • Health surveillance systems at workplaces
  • Positive factors (wellbeing, inspiring work, good social climate etc)

Updated and final online program

Day 1: May 25th 2020

9:00-9:15 Opening by the hosting institution

9:15-9:45 Keynote by Prof. Lars L Andersen

9:45-10:00 Break

10:00-11:30 Short presentation on aspects of prolonging working life (10 min + 5 min questions) – Chairman: Johannes Gjerstad

  • Allard J. van der Beek: What is the effect of prolonging working life on health?
  • Suzan Robroek: Educational differences in duration of working life and loss of paid employment: working life expectancy in The Netherlands
  • Astrid de Wind: Working longer, living longer? – A Systematic review and meta-analysis on the association between retirement and mortality
  • Six Dijkstra: Circle of sustainable employability; a framework based on a scoping review.
  • Kerstin Nilsson: Sustainable working life for all ages, the swAge-model
  • Taina Leinonen: Conceptualization and measurement of the work-to-retirement process: literature review, novel conceptual model, and recommendations for future measurement

11:30-12:00 Break

12:00-12:30 Keynote by Prof. Emeritus Reidar J. Mykletun

12:30-12:45 Break

12:45-14:15 Short presentations on health, work and self-management (10 min + 5 min questions) – Chairman: Annette Meng

  • Annette Meng: A new questionnaire for measuring Selection, Optimisation and Compensation at the leadership, group and individual level
  • Karina Undem: Sickness absence and mechanical and psychosocial work exposures across occupational groups in Norway
  • Nathan Hutting: Self-management for employees with musculoskeletal disorders: effects of a self-management program for employees with chronic non-specific complaints of the arm, neck or shoulder
  • Veronica Varela-Mato: The relation of cardiometabolic markers, activity patterns and ambulatory heart rate with the risk of developing a heart condition over a 10-year period among UK lorry drivers.
  • Jennen, J.G.M: Associations between depressive complaints and different indicators of labour participation among older Dutch employees: a prospective cohort study

14:15-14:30 Closing of Day 1

Day 2: May 26th 2020

9:00-9:15 Opening of Day 2

9:15-9:45 Keynote by Dr. Swenne G. van den Heuvel

9:45-10:00 Break

10:00-11:45 Short presentations on senior policies and age management (10 min + 5 min questions) – Chairman: Swenneke Heuvel

  • Aske Juul Lassen: Vulnerability and value: Negotiations of age and ageing in the workforce
  • Oude Hengel K.M: Evaluating policies to prolong working lives as natural experiments: a Dutch example
  • Isabelle Salmon: From “age management” to “health-at-work driven employability and pathways management”
  • Kristina Thomassen: Barriers and willingness for re-employment among senior workers: the SeniorWorkingLife Study
  • Amirabbas Mofidi: Economic Impact of a Caregiver-Friendly Workplace Policies Intervention
  • Joanne Crawford: Age and Work in New Zealand, what can shared learning achieve?
  • Bram Fleuren: We need to slow down: A two-wave observational study on intersectoral differences in- and the predictors of healthcare employees’ sustainable employability

11:45-12:15 Break

12:15-12:45 Keynote by Adjunct Professor Dr. Svetlana Solovieva

12:45-13:00 Break

13:00-14:30 Short presentations on physical work demands and physical capacity of the worker (10 min + 5 min questions) – Chairman: Ingrid Mehlum

  • Emil Sundstrup: Influence of cumulative mechanical exposure during working life and physical capability in midlife on labour market participation among older workers
  • Merkus Suzanne: Physical capacity, physical demands, and relative physical strain of older employees in construction and healthcare
  • Maria Sirén: Work participation and working life expectancy after a disabling shoulder lesion
  • Tea Kontio: To what extent is severe osteoarthritis preventable? Occupational and non-occupational risk factors for knee and hip osteoarthritis
  • Matthew Stevens: Cardiorespiratory fitness, occupational aerobic workload and age: workplace measurements among blue-collar workers
  • Gilles Martine Annie: How age and pace of work affect movement variability during repetitive assembly tasks.

14:30- 14:45 Break

14:45-15:15 Keynote by Dr. Sergio Lavicoli

15:15-15:30 Closing of the conference


Lars L. Andersen is professor at the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, Denmark. His research focuses on healthy senior working life, musculoskeletal disorders, and physical and psychosocial work environment. The keynote will present Danish studies in relation to prolonging working life based on cohorts combined with high-quality registers on labor market participation, and present new results from the #SeniorWorkingLife study (SeniorArbejdsLiv.dk) – investigating Push, Stay, Jump, Pull and Stuck factors among older workers. The study is open for international collaboration.

Reidar J. Mykletun is professor emeritus at Stavanger Business School, University of Stavanger Norway. His 30 years of research experiences covers motivation for extended work life careers, retirement decisions, health and retirement, spouses’ effects on retirement, age discrimination, bullying of older workers at the workplace, and how leadership and organizational efforts may extend work life careers. His latest work on ageing workers and retirement has been in cooperation with NOVA at Oslo Met using NORlag data, and intervention research with Centre for Senior Policy (SSP), Oslo. The keynote will be based on Norwegian studies in relation to retirement decisions, age discrimination, and organizational efforts may extend work life careers.

Swenne G. van den Heuvel is a Senior Researcher at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Research (TNO), the Netherlands. Her work experience includes national and international projects in the field of occupational health, in particular longitudinal studies on work-related musculoskeletal symptoms and psychosocial work characteristics. Her current research activities focus on the sustainable employability of ageing workers, but also of the younger generation based on the perspective that sustainable employability starts already early in life. She is the project manager of STREAM and CODI, both Dutch longitudinal studies aimed at sustainable employability. The keynote will present the TNO activities in the field of prolonging working life. In particular, the presentation will go into technological innovations and what it means for working life of older workers.

Sergio Lavicoli is Director of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene of the Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL) – World Health Organization Collaborating Centre (WHO CC). His research activity has been focusing on Work-related Stress and Psychosocial risk factors, innovative technologies, demographic changes with special reference to ageing of the workforce, occupational cancer, foresight of research priorities and strategies, cost effectiveness of OSH interventions and OSH policies. He is author of more than 850 publications including almost 200 in journals with impact factor. The keynote will focus on age management in the workplace, looking at the impact of technological innovation on the changing world of work and analysing how health surveillance programmes can better contribute to prolong working life.

Svetlana Solovieva is senior researcher at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. The keynote will focus on Working Life Expectancy based on questionnaire and register studies from the Nordic countries. Despite of an increased life expectancy and better health status, the average time people spend in gainful employment is relatively short as compared to life expectancy. Poor health, chronic diseases, and lifestyle factors were found to be associated with withdrawal from the labour force due to accidental death, disability, early retirement, and unemployment, especially among workers aged 50 years and older. Well-being of people aged 50 years and older depends on their involvement in social life, especially on their ability to play a role in the labour market. Working life expectancy (WLE) and healthy working life expectancy (HWLE) are indicator for evaluating the health of the working age population. WLE is equal to the time that a person at a given age is expected to spend at work or being economically active. This measure is similar to life expectancy but with exit from the workforce as the final state instead of death (therefore focused on the workforce). HWLE corresponds to the estimated average time (years) a person is expected to be healthy and working. HWLE can be used to estimate how many working years a person loses because of ill-health. Both WLE and HWLE can be seen as composite measures of longevity, health status and productive engagement in social life of ageing population and thus they can be used to assess successful ageing. Overview of the concepts, methods for estimation of WLE and HWLE, as well as research findings will be presented, and directions of future research will be discussed.

Scientific Committee:
The PEROSH ‘Prolonging Working Life’ group: https://perosh.eu/research-projects/perosh-projects/prolonging-working-life/

Local Organizing Committee:
Annette Meng, Emil Sundstrup, Kirsten Jürgensen, Lars Andersen