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"it is irresponsible that attrition is perceived as a biological necessity", Bente Klarlund

Published by
May 20, 2019

Physical training can prevent early deterioration of the body

Everyone talks about attrition, but fewer people do anything about it. We seem to take it for granted that we enter the labor market and then we wear out. It's just a question of how fast it happens. Wear and tear means that people become ill, often have to take sick leave and eventually, note the rhetoric, drop out of the labor market. Many politicians are firmly convinced that it takes 40 years to become worn out. After 40 years, you are worn out. This has led to a legislative proposal for a differentiated retirement age. The proposal is controversial and has been called both sympathetic and economically irresponsible.

Wear and tear as a biological necessity: Is it irresponsible?

Personally, I believe that the irresponsibility lies in the fact that attrition is seen as a biological necessity. The health reform aims to abolish hospital admissions, but not illnesses. The pension reform will send the worn-out to retirement without any plans to abolish attrition. When we live longer, we must of course stay longer in the labor market to ensure the welfare society, but this requires that we do not get sick from working. A large group of people with little or no education are in fact being worn down, not because they automatically become ill at 40, but because the nature of the work and the lifestyle associated with being unskilled takes its toll on health. Painted with a broad brush, the most socially disadvantaged group does not actually share in the overall increase in life expectancy.

For the vast majority of people, it is possible to avoid attrition and postpone the bad years, Bente Klarlund

The focus on eliminating attrition involves physical training. Many unskilled workers are engaged in one-sided hard muscular work that is hard on the body without promoting fitness. Physical training is simply necessary in some job categories to be able to do the job without fatigue and early wear and tear.

Lifestyle and attrition: Health promotion as a political priority

An unhealthy lifestyle also contributes to rapid attrition in the labor market. To tackle attrition, it is therefore necessary for policy makers to create a framework that makes it easier for individuals to lead healthy lifestyles throughout their lives.

For the vast majority of people, it is possible to avoid deterioration and postpone years of ill health. For every year you live longer as a result of a healthy lifestyle, you get roughly 2 more years in which you don't get ill. This also means that people can work longer. The future of the welfare state must necessarily involve a focus on eliminating attrition.

Source: Politiken;