Fit for purpose?
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Fit for purpose? book
While the older workers we studied in UK, Japan and Australia struggled with particular aspects of open-plan working, they overwhelmingly regarded themselves as fit and well to do so. They reported that they keep ‘in shape’ to various degrees and were conscious of the benefits of being active to compensate for largely sedentary and stressful working lives within knowledge-based organisations. They go to the gym, bicycle or walk to work, often take the stairs in preference to the lift, and embark on various active pursuits, in and out of the office. They also believe that work keeps them in good stead, sharp and alert mentally as they age:
Nevertheless, alongside descriptions of good health and active pursuits, the older workers we interviewed were quick to acknowledge the physical changes with ageing. A weakening of sight, tiredness and ‘aches and pains’ were mentioned most frequently. Though in no way debilitating, these symptoms form a backdrop to older peoples’ work, necessitating constant and effective self-management.