In the longitudinal analyses, the relative risk for developing elevated need for recovery from work was highest in the age groups 36–45 and 46–55 years in men and 46–55 years in women when compared to the reference group of 26–35 years. While we expected a rather linear association between increasing age and need for recovery over time, we however observed decreasing levels of need for recovery in the highest age group (56–65 years).
These findings are in accordance GDC-0449 with the study by Kiss et al. (2008), where the highest level of need for recovery was found in the age group of 50–54 years with a decrease in need for recovery after 55 years. Probably, this is also the explanation for a nonsignificant effect on need for recovery
when age was considered as a continuous variable in the analyses. Since the relationship between age and need for recovery is nonlinear, it is informative to study age categories which better correspond to a specific point in the working career. Furthermore, also from an occupational health perspective, it is very valuable to distinguish important age subgroups in the working population who may encounter different need for recovery levels. Explanations for the decreasing levels of need for recovery in the highest age group can be found in several domains. First, in the work environment, the process of downshifting may have been initiated, in terms of reduction CX-5461 datasheet in working hours in the job, less overwork or in terms of leaving the workforce. An indication for this reasoning can be found in Table 1, where for instance, the Protein kinase N1 prevalence of overtime work was lowest in the highest age group. Additionally, those workers with health complaints may have already left the labour force or have adapted to health problems by reducing working hours or changing jobs for example (De Raeve et al. 2009),
leaving healthy workers in this high age group. In The Netherlands in 1995, the net labour force participation in the age group 25–50 years was 71.3% in contrast to 38.5% in the age group 50–65 years (Statistics Netherlands 2008), which supports the downshifting process. Although we found a lower percentage of overwork in the highest age group, in accordance with the findings of Van der Hulst et al. (2006), Selleck HSP inhibitor Kalwij and Vermeulen (2008) found in a cross-sectional study no evidence for diminishing working hours with age. On the other hand, they stated that convincing evidence could only be obtained by longitudinal data where labour supply transitions of the same individuals are observed. Second, also differences in the private situation may account for varying levels of need for recovery. For example, the proportion of work–family conflict was highest in the age group 36–45 years. Work–family conflict can be considered a strong risk factor for elevated need for recovery (Jansen et al. 2003a).