Ageing population in the workplace

The UK population is ageing and a smaller workforce will be supporting more elderly people in their retirement, unless a larger proportion of the population is able to remain in employment until an older age. Poor lung function is manifest most commonly by breathlessness on exertion, and until recently there has been almost no research on the relationship between lung function and the ability to remain in employment or work effectively. The Foundation therefore agreed to support a study at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College entitled "Does FEV1 (Forced Expiratory Volume in the first second) predict capacity to work in an ageing population".   With Colt Foundation funding of nearly £345,000, the study team established a longitudinal study of lung function and work performance in men and women aged 51 – 60 years, and the first three phases of the work were completed in mid 2011.  Work is continuing although the Foundation’s funding is now complete.