Farmers face many challenges and difficulties related to their work, not the least of which is the way their occupation affects their long-term health.
As one of the highest-risk occupations in Canada, farmers face greater work-related injuries and occupational illnesses than among the general population.
Nonetheless, research into the impact of illness on both the farmer and the farm family remains limited.
Now a study underway at the University of Manitoba will examine how farmers’ health conditions impact how they do their work, and what changes those with a long-term illness or injury may have made in work practices, safety behaviours and lifestyle.
The study by the department of occupational therapy in the School of Medical Rehabilitation under the direction of Dr. Margaret Friesen, seeks farmers, male and female age 55 and over to volunteer to participate in a survey.
The survey will query participants on their health history, current health conditions, and how these health issues affect the way they continue to work.
Older farmers are sought for the study because so many farmers continue to work past the usual age of retirement and the farm population is currently characterized by an older workforce.
Agricultural producers in this age group are more likely to experience long-term health conditions related to their occupation.
Those interested in participating in the online health survey, which is accessible until Nov. 1, 2010, are encouraged to contact Nadine Tonn, research assistant, department of occupational therapy in the School of Medical Rehabilitation at (204) 977-5634 or by email at [email protected]
The survey is also available for downloading online at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q5R9XLT.