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Age-related changes in terms of a decline of physical and cognitive abilities can raise challenges for older working adults (55+). Although, older workers in general, are more capable of managing and coping with stress-related situations than their younger co-workers, at some point many become overwhelmed, can experience a diminish in their productivity or face increased health condition risks such as physical injuries and cognitive problems. According to recent studies, occupational stress is a key factor for developing mental disorders such as depression or cardiovascular diseases especially at an older age. This also correlates with studies that highlight a growing impact of mental disorders, particularly depression, on employees working ability in terms of sick leave.

 

Given the increasing number of middle-aged and older workers in industrialized countries, occupational stress represents an important topic and it will become even more important in the near future [2]. Thus, stress reduction is crucial in the prevention of depression and cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, stress reduction does not only support the employees’ personal health but can also have a positive impact on companies’ economy considering a sick leave reduction. It becomes obvious that both parties, the employees as well as the employers, are requested to get active and to develop jointly new strategies that allow employees to remain fit, motivated, and keep their job skills current.

 

Since maintaining work ability among older employees is an important goal of national policies in rapidly aging societies in Europe and beyond [1], we are proposing a novel three-tiered system for occupational stress prevention, which targets older working adults 55+ and can be integrated in daily life in the work environment and at home. The system will consist of three pillars building a continuum starting from the stress level-based indication, over the personalized destress intervention, to the novel intervention User eXperience (UX).

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