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Table 3 Challenges associated with computer work that have become more difficult with age

From: Beyond 50. challenges at work for older nurses and allied health workers in rural Australia: a thematic analysis of focus group discussions

Challenges impacted by age-related factors Reported reasons why each is more difficult
1. Physical aspects Age-related factors
In particular ▪ Neck, shoulders strain, tired at end of day
▪ Use of mouse, developing carpel tunnel ▪ Stiffness when sitting for long periods
▪ Keyboard dexterity ▪ Hand problems, clicking on mouse
▪ Seeing screens ▪ Eye strain and vision
▪ Sitting at computers for long periods for data entry Exacerbated by:
2. Mental aspects ▪ More clicking on the mouse required for newer programs
In particular: ▪ Ergonomic factors:
▪ Use of new technology    - Sitting more, less active
▪ Learning new programs and changes to programs    - Posture and seating, some computers badly set up, on a bench
▪ Statistics ▪ IT education provision
▪ Remembering passwords    - not tailored to particular needs
▪ Interpreting computerised results    - Not enough time allowed for older workers to learn, absorb and apply knowledge. "Younger workers already with computer skills, get the same amount of training time"
     - "Helpdesk" is on the computer, not in hardcopy"
  ▪ Historical-generational learning factors
     - Not having computers at home and not growing up with computers
     - Computers not seen as a priority
     - Learn differently, "we are more practical people"
     - Harder for shift workers to adapt to computer
  ▪ General lack of confidence and support with computers and new technology:
     - IT support not always available when needed
     - Frequency of use - affects confidence
     - Tendency to avoid new technology due to difficulty with equipment