How do you keep people over 55 healthy and sustainable employable?

Postdate: 30 May 2017

The aging population is a social trend. It not only means that the number of 65 plus year-olds increases, but also that the life expectancy of the current 25-65 year-old people is increasing. That is why we are talking about double aging and it is expected to continue till about 2035. Sustainable employability therefore remains an important theme. [1]

What does it yield?

Sustainable employability means that during their career, employees “have actual possibilities that can be realized and have the conditions to (continue to) function in current and future work while maintaining healthy and well.' This implies a work context that enables the older employee to do so, as well as the attitude and motivation to actually use these opportunities." [4]

In other words, suitable work must be available and the employee must have the right knowledge, skills and attitude to remain employable. In addition to following a right training and gaining relevant experience, mental and physical fitness are of great importance. The responsibility lies, in both cases, not only with the employer, but also with the employees themselves.

Life phase of 55 plus years-olds

Of the 45-65 year-old employees who experience good health, more than nine out of ten can meet the physical requirements of the work. The group of 55 plus year olds is therefore unjustly associated with being ill and less productive. Although the chance of physical disabilities increases with age, the physical (and partly mental) health depends on lifestyle and work factors. [5] Older employees are not necessarily sick more often, but may be more likely to suffer because the health problem is more serious (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, hip complaints). This is accompanied by a high absenteeism. [6]

It is especially important that the workload fits well with the life stage. Major changes in (technological) developments in the workplace, reorganisations, heavy physical and mental stress and irregular services can disrupt this, resulting in absenteeism. [2] To keep the older employee healthy, happy and motivated, it is important to let them work in a structured way on their own mental and physical health. Every day again.

The concept of 'work as value' plays a major role in the sustainable employability of people over 55 year old, such as good social contact with colleagues and enough freedom in making choices. [4] These aspects increase the job satisfaction and thus the energy to work until they retire.

There are many tools and instruments to make the employability of the older employee as optimal as possible, but these are not all equally successful. [3] Tsuru supports them with a personal profile, and coaches through personal challenges that are also suitable for older employees. Healthy eating, little stress, a good sleeping pattern, enough exercise and mental resilience are addressed, with the aim of lower absenteeism and higher productivity. Tsuru is there for everyone. Also for older employees.


[1] CBS (2017); [2] Arboportaal (2017) [3] Smeenk, S., van Wersch, F. & Roman, B. (2010). [4] Klink, van der J. (2011). [5] Peeters, M. (2010). [6] CBS (2014).

aging population     health     older employees     sustainable employability     workplace    

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