[Aging and work: health aspects in cleaners]

Med Lav. 2000 Jul-Aug;91(4):387-402.
[Article in Italian]


Over the last few years, studies on the relationship between ageing and work have attracted growing interest due to the increased probability among workers of developing major health problems as a consequence of ageing workers. Negative outcomes for health are possible when an age-related imbalance appears between physical workload and physical work capacity. Cleaning could be considered as a paradigm for studying the relationship between ageing and physically demanding jobs. Cleaning workers show a high proportion of ageing women who are at the bottom level of the social-status class and are generally poorly educated with low income and social support level. This study, particularly aimed at highlighting the presence of musculo-skeletal disorders, was conducted by means of standardized questionnaires and protocols for collecting anamnestic and clinical data. The results show an increased prevalence of disorders of elbow, wrist/hand and cervical spine which could be caused by work organization and non-ergonomic tools. On the basis of the experience gained it was possible to propose solutions for the ageing working population concerning the workload, health surveillance methods and the ergonomic measures as regards organization, work place and tools.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Child
  • Ergonomics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / prevention & control
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Occupations*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Work Capacity Evaluation