In "Arthritis, Occupational Class, and the Aging US Workforce," Alberto Cabán-Martinez, DO, at the time of the study a professor in the department of epidemiology and public health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, and the other authors note that this is a signficant workplace issue because it is often the lower-income individuals who, for financial reasons, need to remain in the workforce longer, despite greater health problems than white-collar workers. Among other things, the research found that, in workers aged 65 and older, approximately 67% of farmers, 58% of those in service, 51% in white-collar occupations, and 47% of those in blue-collar jobs had arthritis.
Dr. Cabán-Martinez says it is important to use studies like this to reinforce the need for workforce change. The authors suggest improving disability and unemployment insurance and arthritis health promotion interventions.Source: Arthritis Today"Arthritis Hits Blue-collar Workers Harder" (August 12, 2011)
He suggests using ergonomic interventions, or changing the workflow or duties to allow people to remain productive longer. For instance, a nurse or police officer could be reassigned from patient handling or street patrol to perform administrative duties. “Wal-Mart might have an elderly greeter at the door instead of at a labor-intensive job so it is not so burdensome on the joints and body,” he says.