Impact of interventions and policies on prolonging working life in good health: an international study

Summary and overall aim

European governments have developed policies to keep workers stay in employment until older age, yet poor health remains an important cause of premature exit from the labour market. There is lack of evidence on whether and how health interventions and policies can prolong working lives as well as the differential effects of these interventions and policies.The overall aim of this project is to examine the bidirectional links between employment and health by quantifying the impact of health interventions on the length of paid employment, and in turn, the impact of employment and retirement policies on pathways to retirement with their effects on late-life health. We aim to focus on workplace interventions, health promotion programmes, and legislation and policies that:

  • support workers with health problems to remain in paid employment until statutory retirement age
  • prevent the onset or aggravation of health problems among workers due to working until older age.

As a second step, we will estimate the cost-effectiveness of these interventions and policies for prolonging working lives in different social groups. A related important aim is to understand whether and how working longer has (unintended) health consequences for older workers before and after statutory retirement.

Project details

WORKLONG participated in the first joint call on ‘Extended Working Lifeand its Interaction with Health, Wellbeing and beyond’.

Project duration and budget

Project duration: April 2016 – March 2019.
Project costs/requested funding: €639.254


  • Erasmus University Medical Center, Department of Public Health, The Netherlands.
    MerelSchuring (coordinator)
    Alex Burdorf
    Suzan Robroek
  • King’s College London, United Kingdom.
    Mauricio Avendano
    Ludovico Carrino
  • UmeåUniversity, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Sweden.
    Bengt Järvholm
    Mikael Stattin
    Mia Soderberg