The ageing of the labour force and falling employment rates have forced policy makers in industrialized countries to find means of increasing the well-being of older workers and of lengthening their work careers.
To longitudinally study the relationship between activity and functional capacity and the well-being of ageing workers.
Follow-up study to that carried out by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in 1981-97 (n = 3817). Activity level was measured using various free-time activities, and functional capacity was measured through daily-life activities. The measure of well-being included items with both positive and negative affects. The associations between activity, functional capacity and well-being were analysed by general linear models with repeated measures.
Activity level and functional capacity had a strong positive effect (the effects of one unit increase were 0.32 and 0.30, respectively) on well-being. They were also interdependent. The impact of activity level in maintaining well-being became 31% greater during the follow-up, whereas the effect of functional capacity diminished by 17%.
The results of the study indicate that both involvement in activities and functional capacity have an important, partly compensatory role in maintaining the well-being of ageing workers.
Physical workload is a continuous problem, even in modern workplaces. The purpose of the survey was to determine the effect of support on employees' physical load factors at workplaces. Training, guidance and support were the main focus areas of the early support intervention, which aimed to enable supervisors to find weak signals of impaired ergonomics.The survey was carried out in the form of a controlled longitudinal study, and the material was gathered via a questionnaire in both 2008 and 2010 from two co-operative trade groups. The final sample was 301 intervention subjects and 235 control subjects, and the response rate was 45% in both groups. We applied factor analysis to reduce the number of items. The physical load factors' sum score consisted of six items. We used logistic regression in the statistical analysis.Encouragement to improve processes at the workplace increased the probability of positive change (i.e. decrease) in physical load factors. The same applied to working pace, if individuals could control it themselves. In contrast, workload and the support of supervisors had a reversed impact on workers' physical load factors. Focusing on promoting workers' ergonomics is still important in workplaces when aiming to decrease physical load factors.
To evaluate in a sample of initially middle-aged municipal employees whether leisure time (LPA) or occupational physical activity (OPA) was associated with mobility limitation (ML) in old age.
Prospective population-based follow-up.
Municipalities in Finland.
Public sector employees from the Finnish Longitudinal Study on Municipal Employees (FLAME) initially aged 44 to 58 (N = 5,200).
Baseline data were collected in 1981, including LPA (average exercise within previous year: inactive (no exercise), moderate (some form of exercise = 1 time per week), vigorous (brisk exercise = 1 time per week)) and OPA (usual activities at work within previous year: light (light work sitting, standing, or moving around), moderate (moderate work moving around), vigorous (heavy physical work)). Number of MLs was assessed using a questionnaire (8 items) in 1985, 1992, 1997, and 2009; the latest mobility score available for each subject was used for analyses. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for LPA and OPA predicting ML were estimated in a joint Poisson regression model adjusted for survival data; the other type of PA; and sociodemographic, socioeconomic, and health-related factors.
Mean age at baseline was 50.3 ± 3.6; 56.9% of participants were female. Participants with vigorous OPA in midlife had greater risk of a unit increase in ML in old age than those with light OPA (fully adjusted IRR = 1.09, 95% CI = 1.03-1.16). Participants with vigorous LPA had lower risk of ML than inactive participants (fully adjusted IRR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.76-0.86).
Findings suggest that LPA and OPA in midlife have independent, inverse effects on mobility in old age in terms of a harmful effect of vigorous OPA and a protective effect of vigorous LPA.
high job strain increases the risk of health decline, but little is known about the specific consequences and long-term effects of job strain on old age health.
purpose was to investigate whether physical and mental job strain in midlife was associated with hospital care use in old age.
study population included 5,625 Finnish public sector employees aged 44-58 years who worked in blue- and white-collar professions in 1981. The number of in-patient hospital care days was collected from the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register for the 28-year follow-up period.
rates of hospital care days per 1,000 person-years for men were 7.78 (95% confidence interval [CI] 7.71-7.84) for low, 9.68 (95% CI 9.50-9.74) for intermediate and 12.56 (95% CI 12.47-12.66) for high physical job strain in midlife. The corresponding rates for women were 6.63 (95% CI 6.57-6.68), 7.91 (95% CI 7.87-7.95) and 10.35 (95% CI 10.25-10.42), respectively. Rates were parallel but lower for mental job strain. Reporting high physical job strain in midlife increased the risk of hospital care in old age compared with those who reported low job strain, fully adjusted incidence rate ratio 1.17 (95% CI 1.00-1.38) for men and 1.42 (95% CI 1.25-1.61) for women. These associations were robust in analyses confined to hospital care that took place after the employees had turned 65 years.
exposure to high mental and, particularly, high physical job strain in midlife may set employees on a higher healthcare use trajectory which persists into old age.
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To investigate the effect of adulthood obesity on work ability in early midlife during a 15-year follow-up.
The study population included men and women (n?=?5470), born in northern Finland in 1966. Participants evaluated their current perceived work ability compared with their lifetime best at the age of 46. Participants' weight and height were measured at 31 years and self-reported at 46 years, and body mass indexes were calculated.
Obesity at both ages, and developing obesity between the ages of 31 and 46 increased the relative risk of poor work ability at 46 years among sexes, and among those in both low and high physically strenuous work.
Long-term obesity and developing obesity in mid-adulthood increase the risk of poor work ability. Thus, the promotion of healthy behaviors by policies, healthcare services, and at workplaces is important.
Occupations during adult life may have long-term effects and subsequently increase the risk of disability in old age. We investigated the associations between job profile groups in midlife and disability in old age for women and men.
This prospective 28-year follow-up study (1981-2009) examined 2998 municipal employees (1892 women and 1106 men) aged 44-58?years at baseline. A detailed analysis of the demands of 88 occupations based on interviews and observations at the work places was made at baseline. Thirteen job profile clusters emerged. Questionnaire information on health, lifestyle and socio-demographic factors was collected at baseline. In 2009, five Activities of Daily Living and seven Instrumental Activities of Daily Living tasks were assessed. A sum score of '0-12' was calculated using 12 dichotomous tasks where '0' indicates no difficulties in any tasks and '1-12' indicates increasing disability. Negative binomial regression was used to calculate rate ratios (RR) and their 95?% confidence intervals (CIs) for disability due to midlife job profiles.
After adjusting for age, socioeconomic, lifestyle and health-related characteristics, women in auxiliary (RR 2.1, 95?% CI 1.4-3.2), home care (2.1, 1.4-3.2), kitchen supervision (2.0, 1.1-3.6) and office (1.6, 1.1-2.4) job profiles had a higher risk of disability in later life than those in administrative jobs. Auxiliary (1.5, 1.1-2.9) and technical supervision (1.7, 1.1-2.7) job profiles carried an increased risk among men.
Midlife job profiles mainly linked with physically heavy work were strong predictors of disability in later life. In women, office work also increased the risk of disability.
Little is known about the wellbeing and mobility limitation of older disability retirees. Personal and environmental factors, such as time spent in working life, may either exacerbate or mitigate the onset of mobility limitation in general population. We aimed to study perceived midlife work ability as a determinant of self-reported mobility limitation in old age among municipal employees who transitioned into non-disability and disability retirement.
4329 participants of the Finnish Longitudinal Study of Municipal Employees (FLAME) had retired during January 1985 and July 2000. They had data on retirement, perceived work ability in 1985, and self-reported mobility limitation (non-disability retirement n = 2870, men 39%; and diagnose-specific disability retirement n = 1459, men 48%). Self-reported mobility was measured in 1985, 1992, 1997 and 2009. The latest score available was used to assess the number of mobility limitation. Work ability was measured by asking the respondents to evaluate their current work ability against their lifetime best in 1985. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for work ability predicting mobility limitation in non-disability and diagnose-specific disability retirement groups were calculated using Poisson regression models.
The prevalence of mobility limitation for those who transitioned into non-disability retirement (Incidence Rate, IR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.44-0.46) was lower compared to those who retired due to disability (IR = 0.65, CI = 0.63-0.66). A one-point increase in the work ability score decreased the risk for having one more mobility limitation among non-disability and all diagnose-specific retirement groups (musculoskeletal disease, cardiovascular disease, mental disorder, and other diseases).
Better midlife work ability may protect from old age mobility limitation among those who retire due to non-disability and disability. Promoting work ability in midlife may lead to more independent, active aging, regardless of type of retirement.
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Stress has damaging effects on individual's health. However, information about the long-term consequences of mental stress is scarce.
This 28-year prospective cohort study examined on the associations between midlife stress and old age disability among 2,994 Finnish municipal professionals aged 44-58 years at baseline. Self-reported stress symptoms were assessed at baseline in 1981 and 4 years later in 1985 and perceived disability in 2009. For the baseline data, principal component analysis was used for differentiation into stress symptom profiles. The regression coefficient estimates for self-care disability (activities of daily living) and instrumental activities of daily living disability were estimated using left-censored regression. The odds ratios for mobility limitation were estimated using logistic regression.
Four midlife stress profiles were identified: negative reactions to work and depressiveness, perceived decrease in cognition, sleep disturbances, and somatic symptoms. We saw a clear gradient of increasing disability severity in old age for increasing intensity of midlife stress symptoms. In comparison with the participants with no stress symptoms, the extensively adjusted left-censored and logistic regression models showed that in old age, disability scores were almost 2-4 units higher and risk for mobility limitation was 2-3 times higher for those with constant stress symptoms in midlife.
Among occupationally active 44- to 58-year-old men and women, perceived stress symptoms in midlife correlated with disability 28 years later. Stress symptoms may be the first signs of decompensation of individual functioning relative to environmental demands, which may later manifest in disabilities.
Most of the few studies that exist on the longitudinal associations between health behaviors and work ability target to single health behaviors.
To investigate how lifetime clusters of unhealthy behaviors associate with perceived work ability in early midlife.
The study population consisted of 46-year-old men and women (n?=?3107) born in Northern Finland in 1966. Their current perceived work ability compared to lifetime best, and their unhealthy behaviors (physical inactivity, smoking, and alcohol consumption) were assessed by questionnaires. We determined clusters of unhealthy behaviors at the ages of 14, 31, and 46 and created lifetime development trajectories of health behaviors. We also assessed stress-related eating and drinking at the ages of 31 and 46. Cross-tabulations and multivariate logistic regression models were used to investigate the associations between clusters of health behaviors, stress-related eating and drinking, and work ability at 46 years. The analyses were controlled for basic education and physical strenuousness of work, psychosocial job characteristics, perceived work ability, and BMI (kg/m(2)) at 31 years.
Four health behavior trajectories emerged: always healthy, moderate (reference group), deteriorated. and always unhealthy. Among men, always unhealthy behaviors [OR (95 % confidence interval) 2.81 (1.35, 5.86)], and among women, deteriorated health behaviors [1.67 (1.07, 2.58)] associated with poor perceived work ability at 46 years. In addition, stress-related eating and drinking associated independently with poor perceived work ability at 46 years [men 2.58 (1.62, 4.12) and women 2.48 (1.70, 3.61)].
Long-lasting and stress-related unhealthy behaviors increase the risk of poor work ability in midlife.
Adjusting work life and encouraging older employees to continue at work has become a common challenge as the workforce ages. Gender differences in retirement decisions have largely been overlooked in previous studies, despite the fact that retirement as a life course event and the experience of retirement can be gender dependent.
To explore which personal and work-related psychological factors predict early retirement intentions among older women and men and to investigate the stability of these predictors through use of longitudinal data.
This research is based on an 11-year follow-up study of ageing Finnish municipal employees. Data on 1101 employees' early retirement intentions were analysed with binary logistic regression analysis in separate longitudinal and cross-sectional models.
Gender differences in early retirement intentions were detected both at baseline and at follow-up. Negative perceptions about work and low work and general life satisfaction were associated with early retirement intentions among women. For men, good self-rated work ability and perceived good health were negatively associated with early retirement intentions. In addition, negative perceptions about work predicted early retirement intentions among men.
Adverse work- or health-related factors detected in middle age predicted subsequent early retirement intentions.