National Center for Productive Aging and Work

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) National Center for Productive Aging and Work (NCPAW) works with partners in industry, labor, trade associations, professional organizations, academia, and other government agencies. NCPAW seeks to advance the safety, health, and well-being of an aging workforce.

What do we do?
  • Conduct research in the areas of:
    • health effects and mechanisms of aging
    • evidenced-based practices and interventions
    • use and improvement of surveillance methods
  • Use research findings in collaboration with other NIOSH programs to develop a broad range of communication products for workers, organizations, and sectors
  • where aging issues are important.
  • Build and foster partnerships with a range of stakeholders, including industry, labor, trade associations, professional organizations, academia, and other government agencies.
  • Engage in communication and outreach efforts with partners to enhance the impact of NCPAW research and products.
What have we accomplished?
  • Published two book chapters. 1. “Productive Aging and Work” in the edited volume Total Worker Health. 2. “Designing Age-Friendly Workplaces: An Occupational Health Perspective” in the edited volume Current and Emerging Trends in Aging and Work.
  • Published two abstracts covering subjective cognitive decline among U.S. workers 45 years old or older and age-specific workers’ compensation claims of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) among construction workers in Ohio.
  • Conducted a joint one-day workshop “Productive Aging and Work: A Framework for Creating an Age-Friendly Workplace” with Total Worker Health that presented evidence-based methods for facilitating age-friendly
  • workplaces as part of the American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Expo.
  • Promoted productive aging and work through 10 presentations, workshops, and/or webinars, to professional and scientific organizations, scientific conferences, and professional organizations.
  • Presented key findings of the NCPAW aging workforce needs assessment at the 2019 Work, Stress, and Health Conference. Findings suggest that employers often make decisions about aging workers based on legal compliance and do not always understand the needs or have the data to adequately address the ergonomic, physical, cognitive, and social needs of the aging workforce.
What’s next?
  • Complete first phase of focus group research about aging retail workers’ experience with musculoskeletal disorders and trips, slips, and falls.
  • Conduct fourth annual installment of the Productive Aging and Work webinar series.
  • Develop NIOSH numbered publication and peer-review journal article about the findings of the NCPAW needs assessment.
  • Develop Workplace Solutions documents about preventing  work disability in the aging  workforce  and  optimizing cognitive functioning in older workers.

Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

At-A-Glance

The National Center for Productive Aging and Work seeks to advance lifelong well-being for workers of all ages and supports productive aging across the working life. NCPAW is hosted by the NIOSH Office for Total Worker Health®. This snapshot shows recent accomplishments and upcoming activities.

Annual growth rate in labor force by age group, projected 2014-24 (percent)
Annual growth rate in labor force by age group, projected 2014-24 (percent)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Percent of U.S. workers reporting workplace age discrimination in age groups:
Percent of U.S. workers reporting workplace age discrimination in age groups:

Data Source: NIOSH Quality of Worklife Questionnaire

Percent of U.S. workers reporting at least one workplace injury in age groups:
Percent of U.S. workers reporting at least one workplace injury in age groups:

Data source: NIOSH Quality of Worklife Questionnaire

To learn more, visit
www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/productiveaging/
November 2020

Page last reviewed: October 29, 2020