lidA III – Impact of the changing working life on health and employment among older workers in Germany

Project No. FF-FP 0403




The working world is changing in many ways. Economic globalisation and technical progress encounter an ageing workforce and at the same time, there is the expectation of an extended working life. What do these changes in working life mean for older employees? Achievements and potential of the representative lidA study were used to examine this in more detail. The size of this study, the representative cohorts involved, its thematic scope and the availability of data from two previous survey waves all formed the basis for the focus on "Change in working life" in wave 3 (2018). The focus was on the following topics

  • Impact of the use of digital work tools
  • Time and place flexibility
  • Change of tasks, occupation and employer
  • Workplace Accommodations for maintaining health and work ability


Questionnaire modules were developed for the topics, which, where available, were linked to established instruments. In 2018, the third wave of the study was conducted throughout Germany using computer-assisted interviews (CAPI) within the respondents homes. The respondents had representatively been drawn from the 1959 or 1965 birth cohorts at the start of the study, thus they are part of the German "baby boom generation". The 3,586 persons interviewed, were mostly employed persons from all occupational groups. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were conducted on the research questions of the subject areas.


An analysis of the impact of digitised work showed that it was not the frequency of use, but a resulting work intensification, which was associated with poorer health, work ability and shorter employment prospects. However, workplace support proved to act as a buffer on the demands of digitised work.

Flexibilization of work time and space: The potential for employees to influence their work time (work time control, WTC) varies by occupational group. It is positively related to health and the estimation of being able to continue working. A clear majority would have liked to have shorter weekly working hours. Extended work-related availability proves to be demanding, though measures to limit it must take the requirements of occupational groups into account.

Change of tasks, occupation and employer: Voluntary change has the potential to maintain health and work ability of older employees and often leads to longer employment perspectives. Employees who involuntarily stay with their employer or in their occupation are a risk group for poor health, low work ability and shorter employment perspectives.

Workplace Accommodations for maintaining health and work ability: Measures to maintain and promote health and work ability take place less frequently than employees with restrictions would like. Above all, changes in work tasks, place and time are wanted. Measures received are often rated as helpful. Those with lower level job demands show less need for measures and if they did receive them, seldom rate them as helpful.

Operational prevention potential is drawn for each topic area. In addition, the project provides impulses for "agenda setting" in the respective fields of research in the medium and long term.

Last Update:

6 Apr 2022


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Bergische Universität Wuppertal

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:



prevention, work and age

Description, key words:

Changing working life, older workers