FES | Federación Española de Sociología

XII Congreso de la FES

Active Ageing and socio-ergonomics factors in agriculture: The case of olive farmers in Community of Madrid and peripheral areas (*)

GT 33 Política social y trabajo social

Vanessa Zorrilla Muñoz (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
Mª Silveria Agulló Tomás (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
Gloria Fernández-Mayoralas Fernán (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC))
Maria João Betancourt Pereira Forjaz (Escuela Nacional de Sanidad, Instituto de salud Carlos III y REDISSEC, Madrid)


Sesión de posters
Tipo de sesión: Sesión de posters

The society evolution has generated increased population longevity in a demographic sense. Consequently, aging is considering an extraordinary social achievement. However, some productive sectors, such as agriculture, are adversely affected due to the lack of generational relief which suggest an increase possibility of women employment. In this sense, "active aging" could help to promote longer productivity through the social, economical and environmental aspects assessment regarding the necessary vision of the implications that ageing could involve in terms of farmers’ health and quality life.

Olive cultivation is highly extended in Spain. Spain is the first producer of olive oil and table olives in the world according to the International Olive Council (2015). Most of the EU olive total surface is located in Spain, around 2.2 million ha in 2013. In comparison to other EU countries, Spain occupies the largest productive extension of olive crops.

Recent studies regarding environmental aspects determined that due to effects of climate change such as temperature increase, the central olive plantations of the Community of Madrid (including peripheral areas of other communities) could be reduced by 2030. This negative environmental impact could decrease the productivity of the sector if the relief generational paradigm is considered.

According to social studies on rural, health and labour aspects, we have identified that rural population social conditions are evident if traditional work systems are applied during olive harvesting processes. Moreover, the manual activities in agriculture are associated to the possibility of development musculoskeletal disorders.

This study investigates the ergonomics factors which active ageing of olive farmers (from 55 years onwards) are exposed to during olive harvesting, in relationship to the behavioral - or attitudes - and traditional work systems to harvest olive. First, the revision of agricultural health sociology literature provides the theoretical framework according to social rural conditions. Second, work musculoskeletal disorders that could contribute to the development of these disorders and occupational diseases suggest the identification of social and ergonomics factors. Third, the investigation of sociodemographic and socioeconomics olive crops provides results related to the factors. Fourth, ergonomics analysis contributes to the detection of the possible influence on the development of musculoskeletal disorders. The results indicate that there is a negative effect due to assessed factors such as the increase of population ageing, gender, and the maintaining of awkward postures during harvesting.

(*) Programa ENGAGE-CM (Ref. S2015/HUM-3367)

Palabras clave: olive, active ageing farmers, musculoskeletal disorders, traditional work agriculture, social factors in agriculture