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The aim of this follow-up study is to study how work, work ability, transitioning into retirement and life style predict active aging, wellbeing in old age and need of care in old age. One large cohort (n=6300) of municipal workers has been followed since 1980 with four cross-sectional surveys (1980, 1984, 1991, 1997 and 2009) and register-based data which is related to them.

The research will produce new knowledge about the long-term effect that the work career has on old age health and functioning. We will investigate e.g. how influences during earlier life, such as work and work ability, predict old age health, physical functioning, participation, care need and disability. The research will produce unique information on the effects of work on old age wellbeing, which has thus far been little studied. The study will contribute to research knowledge in the area of occupational gerontology.


Research group

Clas-Håkan Nygård,, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University
Subas Neupane,, Tampere University

Doctoral students
Prakash KC, Tampere University
Johanna Repo, Tampere University

Co-operation partners
University of Jyväskylä (Taina Rantanen)
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Jorma Seitsamo and Päivi Leino-Arjas)

Selected publications

von Bonsdorff MB, Seitsamo J, Ilmarinen J, Nygård CH, von Bonsdorff ME, Rantanen T. Work ability in midlife as a predictor of mortality and disability in later life: a 28-year prospective follow-up study. Canadian Medical Association Journal 2011;183:E235-42.

von Bonsdorff ME, Kokko K, Seitsamo J, von Bonsdorff MB, Nygård CH, Ilmarinen J, Rantanen T. Work strain in midlife and 28-year work ability trajectories. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health 2011:37:455-63.

von Bonsdorff MB, Seitsamo J, Ilmarinen J, Nygård CH, von Bonsdorff ME, Rantanen T. Job strain among blue-collar and white-collar employees as a determinant of total mortality: A 28-year population-based follow-up. BMJ Open 2012;2:e000860.

Kulmala J, von Bonsdorff MB, Stenholm S, Törmäkangas T, von Bonsdorff ME, Nygård CH, Klockars M, Seitsamo J, Ilmarinen J, Rantanen T. Perceived stress symptoms in midlife predict disability in old age. A 28-year prospective cohort study. Journal of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 2013;68:984-91.

Prakash K.C.*1, 5, Subas Neupane1, 5, Päivi Leino-Arjas1, 2, Mikaela B.von Bonsdorff3 , Taina Rantanen3, Monika E.von Bonsdorff3, Jorma Seitsamo2, Juhani Ilmarinen4, Clas-Håkan Nygård1, 5

Midlife job profiles and disabilities in later life: A 28-year follow-up of municipal employees in Finland. Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2016)89(6) 997-1007

Jääskeläinen A, Kausto J, Seitsamo J, Ojajärvi A, Nygård C-H, Arjas E, Leino-Arjas P. Work ability index and perceived work ability as predictors of disability pension: a prospectory study among Finnish municipal employees (2016) doi:105221/sweh.3598

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