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The Workplace For The Aging Workforce

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Occupational Therapy can promote, health, safety and productivity for older workers in today’s increasingly aging workforce. The average life expectancy has increased from 70.8 years in 1970 to 77.2 years in 2001. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 63 million Americans are above the age of 65. Perry, PE, CPE, L. Designing the Workplace for the Aging Workforce, How to use Ergonomics to Improve the Workplace Design. http://195.28.226.39/NR/rdonlyres/AEFC0FF5-EE0B-4765-B5D4-F640D99E1412/0/Designingtheworkplacefortheagingworkforce.pdf.) Ten million adults over the age of 65 are still working, and that number is expected to double over the next ten years due to extended careers, second careers and longer life expectancy. People above retirement age continue to work for social, financial and healthcare benefits. One of the industries affected the most by this aging workforce is the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing industry has one of the highest injury and illness rates across all sectors and poses more of a risk to aging workers. As we age we change in several different ways. It has been documented that people over 65; have a 25-30 percent decrease in strength and lose 18-20 percent of their flexibility. Balance is also an issue, with one third of people over 65 taking a serious fall each year. Sight, reaction time and speed as well as motor skills deteriorate. One third of people between the ages of 65 and 74 have issues with hearing. Additionally, extreme
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