NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Farm elders define health as the ability to work.
Reed DB; Rayens MK; Conley CK; Westneat S; Adkins SM
Workplace Health Saf 2012 Aug; 60(8):345-351
Thirty percent of America's 2.2 million farms are operated by individuals older than 65 years. This study examined how older farmers define health and determined whether demographic characteristics, farm work, and physical and mental health status predict health definition. Data were collected via telephone and mailed surveys during the baseline wave of data collection in a longitudinal study of family farmers residing in two southern states (n=1,288). Nearly 42% defined health as the "ability to work" compared to a physical health-related definition. Predictors of defining health as the ability to work included being White, performing more farm tasks in the past week, taking prescription medications daily, and having minimal health-related limitations to farm work. Health behaviors are centered on the individual's perception of health. Understanding the defining attributes of health can support better approaches to health care and health promotion, particularly among rural subcultures such as farmers, whose identity is rooted in their work.
Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Farmers; Age-groups; Age-factors; Worker-health; Humans; Men; Women; Demographic-characteristics; Health-surveys; Questionnaires; Physical-capacity; Mental-health; Long-term-study; Families; Task-performance; Pharmaceuticals; Behavior; Performance-capability; Attitude
Deborah B. Reed, MSPH, PhD, RN, Distinguished Service Professor, University of Kentucky, 760 Rose Street, Lexington, KY 40536-0232
Grant; Agriculture; Cooperative Agreement
Grant-Number-R01-OH-004157; Grant-Number-T42-OH-010278; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U54-OH-007547; B09262012
Issue of Publication
Workplace Health & Safety
University of Kentucky
Page last reviewed: July 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division