What is it about?

Frailty develops when small, age-related problems add up over time. People who are frail tend to have worse health and die earlier than people who are not frail. Physical activity is generally a good way to prevent frailty, but does working a physically demanding job give you the same benefit in retirement?

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Why is it important?

We found that people who perceived their work as physically demanding– regardless of physical activity during retirement – were frailer in retirement than those whose jobs were less demanding. However, people who were not physically active in retirement were the frailest.


We all know that physical activity is good for our health, yet we live in a society that has become increasingly sedentary over time. We hope this paper a) encourages employers to prioritize safeguarding the health and well-being of workers in physically demanding careers, and b) empowers adults – especially those who have already retired – to get moving in physical activities they find fun and rewarding.

Alexandra van der Valk
University of Waterloo

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Physical demands at work and physical activity are associated with frailty in retirement, Work, October 2022, IOS Press,
DOI: 10.3233/wor-210859.
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