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New Insights on Bridge Employment and Physical Activity at Retirement Age

Date 16 Feb 2017

Researchers of the BiB confirm that there is a connection between working at retirement age and the quality of one's relationship. In addition, they show which activities in retirement age compete with physical activity.

Paid work beyond retirement is a key potential of older adults in ageing societies. Although evidence on antecedents of bridge employment exists, consequences for partnership quality are not clear, especially for Germany.

In a new article published in the scientific journal "Ageing International", BiB-researchers Dr. Andreas Mergenthaler and Dr. Volker Cihlar analyse how paid work after receiving an old age pension is associated with partnership quality in Germany and whether this is moderated by gender.

Based on the "Transitions and Old Age Potential (TOP)" survey, they estimated hierarchical binary logistic models, controlling for socio-demographic, socio-economic and retirement-related variables as well as the interaction between gender and bridge employment.

As a result, bridge employment is not directly associated with partnership quality. Rather, women who perform bridge employment have a lower chance of seeing their relationship as improved compared to men who were bridge employed. The evidence emphasises a gender perspective to better understand the consequence of paid work for marital quality in retirement.

Mergenthaler, Andreas; Cihlar, Volker (2017): Bridge Employment and Marital Quality in Germany – Different Implications for Men and Women? In: Ageing International [DOI: 10.1007/s12126-017-9281-y] online first

Which activities compete with physical activity?

The health-promoting effect of physical activity is well-explored. As one gets older, the risks for diseases increase but regular physical activity can add to healthy ageing.

In a new contribution published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, BiB-researcher Dr. Volker Cihlar and Prof. Sonia Lippke from Jacobs University Bremen draw attention to time-competing activities and psychological variables as impeding or enabling factors of physical activity behavior in 55-to-70-year-old Germans using cross-sectional data of the TOP survey (n=4,891).

The results indicate that paid work has a negative relationship with sufficient physical activity. Persons who provide nursing care seem to be motivated to achieve sufficient physical activity behavior, but do not meet established recommendations. Active citizenship positively relates to higher physical activity levels. The investment of energy in life domains and a distinct internal locus of control characterize motivated underachievers. Those sufficiently physically active show higher values in conscientiousness. This suggests that time-consuming and strongly externally determined activities like nursing care and paid work hinder a sufficient level of physical activity, even if the motivation is existent. Active citizenship and physical activity seem to be linked processes.

Cihlar, Volker; Lippke, Sonia (2017): Physical Activity Behavior and Competing Activities: Interrelations in 55-to-70-Year-Old Germans. In: Journal of Aging and Physical Activity [DOI: 10.1123/japa.2016-0211] online first

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