A1 Journal article (refereed)
Midlife work ability and mobility limitation in old age among non-disability and disability retirees : a prospective study (2016)

von Bonsdorff, M., Rantanen, T., Törmäkangas, T., Kulmala, J., Hinrichs, T., Seitsamo, J., Nygård, C.-H., ilmarinen, J., & von Bonsdorff, M. (2016). Midlife work ability and mobility limitation in old age among non-disability and disability retirees : a prospective study. BMC Public Health, 16, Article 154. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-2846-y

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsvon Bonsdorff, Monika; Rantanen, Taina; Törmäkangas, Timo; Kulmala, Jenni; Hinrichs, Timo; Seitsamo, Jorma; Nygård, Clas-Håkan; ilmarinen, Juhani; von Bonsdorff, Mikaela

Journal or seriesBMC Public Health



Publication year2016


Issue number0

Article number154

PublisherBioMed Central Ltd.

Place of PublicationLontoo

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/48857

Publication is parallel publishedhttps://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/129658/Kulmala%20Midlife%20work%20ability.pdf


Background: 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.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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 onepoint 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).
Conclusions: 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.

Keywordsmunicipal employeespensionerswork abilityphysical disabilitiesfollow-up study

Free keywordsdisability retirement; mobility limitation; aging

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2016

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-09-05 at 18:27