The International Network on Work, Health and Ageing Research (IDEAR) network brings together leading occupational cohort and ageing studies from five European countries to explore the impact of working conditions on health and well-being in later life.

As populations throughout Europe continue to age, governments have introduced a range of ‘active ageing’ policies aimed at extending working life. However little is known about what the consequences of these policies might be for older people at work and following retirement.

The aim of the IDEAR network is to investigate how determinants in later working life, during the retirement transition, and in early retirement influence for how long older individuals are able to live actively and healthily.

Within the IDEAR network, we have published in areas including healthy life expectancy, physical and psychosocial working conditions, health behaviours and informal caregiving. Key findings so far include:

  • people in managerial and professional jobs had longer healthy life expectancy compared to those in other jobs,
  • job strain (high job demands combined with low control) is related to shorter healthy life expectancy,
  • overweight and obese people can expect to spend fewer years with optimal health or without chronic diseases.

This research is carried out using state-of-the-art statistical modelling in well-established prospective occupational cohort studies, longitudinal ageing studies and register data from Sweden, the UK, Finland, France and Denmark. These studies represent five countries and span several decades from mid-life and in retirement.

If you have any questions about IDEAR, please contact Kristina Alexanderson,


This work was supported by the Swedish Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare [FAS #2012-1661] and [FORTE #2019-01225]; the Academy of Finland; and the Economic and Social Research Council [ES/K01336X/1].