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Traditionally, many employers have promoted worksite wellness, mostly with a concentration on physical wellness and workplace safety. But the COVID-19 pandemic continues to underscore the increased importance of workers’ emotional and mental well-being. Whether working on-site or remotely, workers continue to prioritize their overall health. 

Workers returning to the workplace are prioritizing their overall well-being. 

Since the pandemic has subsided, seven in ten workers age 50-plus (70%) report working all or most of their hours on-site, while almost a quarter (23%) are working all or most of their hours from home or remotely. The majority of workers age 50-plus (94%) say they are comfortable working on-site. However, workers age 50–64 are more likely than those 65-plus to say they are not comfortable doing so (6% vs. 1%). More than one in ten workers age 50-plus say that working on-site has had a negative impact on their mental (12%), emotional (13%), and physical (16%) well-being. 

The quest for wellness has prompted nearly all workers (94%) to engage in at least one healthy behavior to manage their overall well-being, according to our research. Most are getting enough rest/sleep (68%), exercising regularly (60%), and eating a healthy diet (60%). While these top items are the same regardless of age, the proportion of workers engaging in some of them varies. Compared to workers age 50–64, those 65-plus are more likely to manage their overall wellness by getting regular exercise (70% vs. 58%) and eating a healthy diet (70% vs. 57%).


Work-related stress continues to impact workers' wellness, whether they work on-site or remotely.

Most workers are satisfied with their jobs (89%). However, when compared to workers age 65-plus, workers ages 50–64 are more likely to be dissatisfied with their jobs (11% vs. 8%). Whether working on-site or remotely, workers noted these top three stressors: maintaining a work–life balance (25%), having control over their time (20%), and completing their work (20%). In fact, workers ages 50–64 are more likely than those age 65-plus to report being stressed about work–life balance (28% vs. 11%), completing their work (23% vs. 6%), and ending work for the day (16% vs. 7%). 

While work continues to be important, many workers say the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted their priorities. 

Roughly one in five workers age 50-plus (19%) report that they now prioritize their overall well-being over their job when they did the opposite before the COVID-19 pandemic began. To maintain workers’ well-being in the workplace, workers most often cited more money (30%), time off (26%), and flexibility (17%). Workers ages 50–64 are more likely than those age 65-plus to say time off is most important (29% vs. 13%). In contrast, workers 65-plus are more likely than workers ages 50–64 to say that providing caregiving support is most important (6% vs. 1%). 


Workers believe that employers can take action to address overall well-being. They most often cited paying employees fairly (66%), increasing traditional benefit offerings (55%), and allowing flexibility (54%). Workers ages 50–64 are more likely than those age 65-plus to say employers should increase traditional benefit offerings (57% vs. 46%) and allow more flexibility (56% vs. 44%). Nevertheless, most workers age 50-plus (70%) agree that their current workplace promotes their overall well-being.


Interviews were conducted in two waves: May 19–23, 2022 and June 17-21, 2022 among 2,002 U.S. adults age 50-plus in the Foresight 50+ Omnibus. This sample included 832 adults who are currently employed. Funded and operated by NORC at the University of Chicago, Foresight 50+ is a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population age 50 or older. Interviews were conducted online and via phone. All data are weighted by age, sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, and AARP membership.

For more information about this survey, please contact Lona Choi-Allum at For media inquiries, contact External Relations at

Suggested citation:

Millan, Carmenza, and Lona Choi-Allum. Workplace Wellness Among 50-Plus Workers: Annotated Questionnaire. Washington, DC: AARP Research, August 2022. 

Read the Detailed Findings


About the Series

In 2022, AARP Research began sharing workforce trends on a variety of topics as they relate to workers age 50 and over. A new topic is highlighted every two months, and data for each topic are gathered through a nationally representative online survey with results posted in an annotated questionnaire. Each survey topic will be refielded every six to eight months to gather trend data. 

Results will be available for public use. 

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