Objectives: A general population job-exposure matrix (GPJEM) including physical and psychosocial demands as well as psychosocial resources applicable to older and retired workers was developed. Its validity was evaluated by examining associations of physical demands and iso-strain (combination of high psychosocial demands and low resources) with health.
Methods: Physical and psychosocial work exposures reported by 55-64 year olds were derived from the Netherlands Working Conditions Survey and linked to the Netherlands Standard Classification of Occupations 1992. A GPJEM with low, moderate, and high probability of exposure to demands and resources was developed. To examine associations with health, two groups of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were selected: current (i.e. at the time of the interview, 55-64 years) and former workers (55-84 years). Linear and logistic regression models were applied.
Results: Use of force and work in uncomfortable positions were significantly associated with functional limitations and self-perceived health (SPH), but not hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA), in current and former workers. A moderate probability of repetitive movements was associated with functional limitations in former workers. A high probability of repetitive movements was associated with functional limitations in current and former workers as well as with SPH and hip and knee OA in former workers. Respondents formerly exposed to iso-strain had significantly higher diastolic blood pressure and more often hypertension. No such associations were found in current workers. No association was found with cardiovascular disease.
Conclusions: The results suggest that our GPJEM accurately classifies jobs according to physical demands and, although less clearly, iso-strain.
Keywords: job-exposure matrix; older workers; physical demands; psychosocial work demands and resources.