Sustainable employability in shiftwork: related to types of work schedule rather than age

V. Peters*, J.A. Engels, A.E. de Rijk, F.J.N. Nijhuis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose There is scarce research on age and sustainable employability of nurses working in various types of work schedules. Earlier research showed that nurses working in work schedules differ regarding age. Different operationalisations of age might explain variations in sustainable employability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate how nurses working in various types of work schedule differ regarding sustainable employability, and the role that age plays in these differences. Age was defined as chronological age, organisational age, life-span age, and functional age. Method Questionnaires were distributed to 974 Dutch nurses in residential elder care (response rate 51 %) with questions about the type of work schedule, aspects of sustainable employability, various operationalisations of age, and registered sickness absence data were used. Results Nurses working in various types of work schedules differed regarding aspects of sustainable employability, also when operationalisations of age were added. The 'life-span age' was directly related to aspects of sustainable employability. Statistically, work ability and job satisfaction were only explained by varying operationalisations of age. Conclusions Nurses' sustainable employability appeared to be mainly related to differences between the types of work schedule rather than age. Fixed early shifts are characterised by the most positive aspects of sustainable employability, and three rotating schedules score worst. To improve sustainable employability, organisations should implement a system in which nurses with different types of work schedule are monitored in combination with their life-span perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-893
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number7
Early online date13 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Sustainable employability in shiftwork: related to types of work schedule rather than age'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this