Population aging increases the need for knowledge on positive aspects of aging, and contributions of older people to their own wellbeing and that of others. We defined active aging as an individual's striving for elements of wellbeing with activities as per their goals, abilities and opportunities. This study examines associations of health, health behaviors, health literacy and functional abilities, environmental and social support with active aging and wellbeing. We will develop and validate assessment methods for physical activity and physical resilience suitable for research on older people, and examine their associations with active aging and wellbeing. We will examine cohort effects on functional phenotypes underlying active aging and disability.
For this population-based study, we plan to recruit 1000 participants aged 75, 80 or 85 years living in central Finland, by drawing personal details from the population register. Participants are interviewed on active aging, wellbeing, disability, environmental and social support, mobility, health behavior and health literacy. Physical activity and heart rate are monitored for 7 days with wearable sensors. Functional tests include hearing, vision, muscle strength, reaction time, exercise tolerance, mobility, and cognitive performance. Clinical examination by a nurse and physician includes an electrocardiogram, tests of blood pressure, orthostatic regulation, arterial stiffness, and lung function, as well as a review of chronic and acute conditions and prescribed medications. C-reactive protein, small blood count, cholesterol and vitamin D are analyzed from blood samples. Associations of factors potentially underlying active aging and wellbeing will be studied using multivariate methods. Cohort effects will be studied by comparing test results of physical and cognitive functioning with results of a cohort examined in 1989-90.
The current study will renew research on positive gerontology through the novel approach to active aging and by suggesting new biomarkers of resilience and active aging. Therefore, high interdisciplinary impact is expected. This cross-sectional study will not provide knowledge on temporal order of events or causality, but an innovative cross-sectional dataset provides opportunities for emergence of novel creative hypotheses and theories.
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.
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.
Cites: Scand J Work Environ Health. 1991;17 Suppl 1:7-111792532
Cites: Scand J Prim Health Care. 2004 Jun;22(2):95-10015255489
Cites: Am J Epidemiol. 1993 Apr 15;137(8):845-578484376
Cites: Soc Sci Med. 1994 Jan;38(1):1-148146699
Cites: J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 1996 Jul;51(4):S173-828673646
Cites: Am J Ind Med. 1999 Sep;Suppl 1:21-310519773
The aim of this study is to investigate whether work-related stress symptoms in midlife are associated with a number of mobility limitations during three decades from midlife to late life. Data for the study come from the Finnish Longitudinal Study of Municipal Employees (FLAME). The study includes a total of 5429 public sector employees aged 44-58?years at baseline who had information available on work-related stress symptoms in 1981 and 1985 and mobility limitation score during the subsequent 28-year follow-up. Four midlife work-related stress profiles were identified: negative reactions to work and depressiveness, perceived decrease in cognition, sleep disturbances, and somatic symptoms. People with a high number of stress symptoms in 1981 and 1985 were categorized as having constant stress. The number of self-reported mobility limitations was computed based on an eight-item list of mobility tasks presented to the participants in 1992, 1997, and 2009. Data were analyzed using joint Poisson regression models. The study showed that depending on the stress profile, persons suffering from constant stress in midlife had a higher risk of 30-70?% for having one more mobility limitation during the following 28?years compared to persons without stress after adjusting for mortality, several lifestyle factors, and chronic conditions. A less pronounced risk increase (20-40?%) was observed for persons with occasional symptoms. The study suggests that effective interventions aiming to reduce work-related stress should focus on both primary and secondary prevention.
Cites: J Occup Environ Med. 2004 Dec;46(12):1263-7115591978
Cites: J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Jul;53(7):1217-2116108942
Cites: J Epidemiol Community Health. 2006 Apr;60(4):357-6316537355
Cites: Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2007 Jan 15;32(2):269-7417224825