AJ Donato et al. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol (2006) H272 – H278
“Differential effects of aging on limb blood flow in humans”
Limb blood flow should be proportionate to the demands made by limb tissues. Failure to meet demand would lead to reduced performance (e.g. muscle power, endurance etc.) and several researchers have linked reduced blood flow with the early onset of fatigue and diffuse pain; a prelude to RSI.
Muscle mass tends to decrease with age.
In this research, the ability of the circulation to cope with muscles working at 60% maximum work rate was compared between 21 and 71 year old people. There were no significant differences in forearm blood flow with age, after correction for muscle mass.
If (insufficient) blood flow is related to the development of diffuse forearm pain we would not expect a generalised effect of ageing. There are many other factors which could affect blood flow, including Body Mass Index, general health, medications and factors which influence the sympathetic nervous system; some of these factors tend to be age dependent.
A specific duty-of-care standard for older workers would not be needed.