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The need for methods to measure capacity and incapacity from working life to old age
  1. Clas-Håkan Nygård1,
  2. Taina Rantanen2
  1. 1 Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
  2. 2 Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Clas-Håkan Nygård, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere FI-33014, Finland; Clas-Hakan.Nygard{at}

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Owing to a sharp increase in population ageing, a decrease in fertility and increase in life expectancy, there is an imbalance between numbers of workers entering and those leaving the workforce. The need to work longer has thus become increasingly important. To promote functional ability during extended work life and after retirement is important to ensure that people of all ages can remain active.

Studies on occupational health have traditionally focused on people of working age and gerontology has studied people after retirement. These two research areas have largely remained separate, but this does not have to be the case. Both occupational health research and gerontology require a balance, in which an individual’s abilities need to correspond to the demands of the job, or in old age, the demands of activities of daily living. This is a fruitful starting point for research into how work influences ageing, which entails a longer perspective. A life …

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  • Contributors C-HN and TR contributed equally in writing this commentary.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This paper has been updated since it first published online. The title has been changed.

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