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Review paper: Secular trends in human physical capacities of the working population and some ergonomic implications

Conference paper
Authors Kurt Jørgensen
Jörgen Winkel
Published in In: Proceedings of the 50th Nordic Ergonomics and Human Factors Society Conference - DTUOrbit (05/11/2019). Eds.: Broberg, Ole and Seim, Rikke. 274-281, 2019
Publisher 2019 DTU Management, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark
Place of publication 2800 Lyngby, Denmark
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Language en
Keywords Secular trends, human physical capacities, ergonomic implications
Subject categories Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics, Public health science


The present review investigates the scope of secular changes of physical fitness and some factors that may modify these changes. Physical fitness shows considerable secular declines since the 1970s. These changes often show skew distributions due to impact of socioeconomic class, the largest decreases in the lowest classes commonly occupying the most demanding jobs. Some potential ergonomic implications are discussed.

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