Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Paper3: Health

September 2016

Health in midlife is related to later participation in paid and unpaid work
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The authors write that "In addition to the immediate benefits of having a healthy workforce, interventions to promote worker's physical and cognitive capability, which start in midlife or earlier, could have long-term consequences by increasing work participation in later life."It is well known that a person's health is an important consideration in their decision to retire or extend their working life. However, most studies have only been able to look at health just before or at the same time as retirement. This study measured physical and cognitive capability (that is, the ability to manage the physical and mental tasks of daily living) when people were in their early 50s and followed their work participation over the next 15 years. It found that better performance on physical and cognitive tests was associated with greater likelihood of participating in bridge employment (that is, working in a paid job after retiring from the main occupation) and greater likelihood of participating in voluntary work. 

For more information, please contact Dr Mai Stafford (m.stafford@ucl.ac.uk).