Design School


Healthy construction

Group: Design Ergonomics

Project: Building healthy construction workers: better by workplace design

Investigating the role of older, experienced workers in healthy design in the construction workplace

3 years, completed January 2016


Dr Diane Gyi





Changing demographics and pension policies are reflected in the increasing age of workforces in the UK. Perceptions are that older workers are experienced, dedicated and reliable but also that they are slower and tire more easily. It is also accepted that, within the construction industry, injury and ill health go hand in hand with the job. However, despite this older employees are keen to work.

Staying fit and healthy for work is a key concern for older workers, particularly in the construction industry, where tasks are often challenging and adverse conditions prevail.

The ageing workforce creates a demand for research to support evidence-based practice promoting the productivity, workability and quality of life of older workers. Workplace design can have a substantial influence on working practices and an individual’s ability to undertake aspects of their work, and research has shown that workers can successfully contribute to this.

The research investigated the role of older, experienced workers in healthy design in the construction workplace. The belief is that the industry can learn from these workers in terms of facilitating healthy behaviours by good design. Guidance to facilitate this will be co-developed with the Industry.

Please contact Dr Diane Gyi for more information.