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Mobility changes during the first years of retirement
Linköping University, NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later Life. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Linköping, Sweden.
2016 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)Text
Abstract [en]

Mobility is an important aspect of well-being, activity and participation (WHO, 2002; Mollenkopf et al., 2005; Siren and Hakamies-Blomqvist, 2009; Ziegler and Schwanen, 2011). An important goal of urban planning is to prepare for an ageing population so that people can age actively, without being directly dependent on other people for everyday activities outside the home. Retiring from paid work is a transition in later life when people need to adjust to a new daily structure and fill the day with activities other than work (Berg et al., 2014). Retirement implies an interruption in everyday routines; there is no more travel to and from work, the individual has more time at his or her disposal and social relations with former colleagues are weakened (Berg et al., 2014). Multiple or intersecting transitions, such as when illness and retirement occur about the same time, impact on how retirement is experienced and how the individual copes with these changes in life (Grenier, 2011; Szinovacz, 2003). These experiences can be expected to have consequences for the need or ability to be mobile. The choices made during the first years of retirement may have an impact on future travel activities, so this phase of life is of central importance for transport planning and public health policymaking, aimed at promoting mobility and well-being in later life. Although mobility and travel activities are strongly influenced by habits (Bamberg et al., 2003), life-course transitions and key events influence demands for mobility and choice of travel mode as people adapt to new circumstances and learning processes (Scheiner, 2007; Lanzendorf, 2003). This paper reports findings from a qualitative longitudinal study on mobility and travel activities during the first years of retirement. The aim of the study was to explore how mobility strategies develop during the first years of retirement. The qualitative analysis is based on interviews with older people in an urban environment, during their first year of retirement and again about three years later.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Sociology Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-124663OAI: diva2:901859
Available from: 2016-02-09 Created: 2016-02-09 Last updated: 2016-02-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Everyday Mobility and Travel Activities during the first years of Retirement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Everyday Mobility and Travel Activities during the first years of Retirement
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Vardagsmobilitet och resande under de första åren som pensionär
Abstract [en]

Mobility is central to living an independent life, to participating in society, and  to maintaining well-being in later life. The point of departure in this thesis is that retirement implies changes in time-space use and interruption in routines, which influence demands and preconditions for mobility in different ways. The aim of this thesis is to explore mobility strategies and changes in mobility upon retirement and how mobility develops during the first years of retirement. A further aim is to provide knowledge of the extent to which newly retired people maintain a desired mobility based on their needs and preconditions. The thesis is empirically based on travel diaries kept by newly retired people, and qualitative interviews with the same persons, and follow-up interviews three and a half years later. The results show that mobility is a way of forming a structure in the new everyday life as retirees by getting out of the house, either just for a walk or to do errands.  Many  patterns  of everyday life remain the same upon retirement, but the informants also merge new responsibilities and seek new social arenas and activities. As a result, the importance of   the car have not changed, but it is used for other reasons than before. After leaving paid work, new space-time constraints are created which influences demands for mobility. The study further shows that “third places” become important, especially among those who live alone, as they give an opportunity to being part of a social context and a reason for getting out of the house. The follow-up interviews revealed that declining health changes the preconditions for mobility. Daily walks had to be made shorter, and the car had to be used for most errands to where they previously could walk or cycle. However, mobility can also be maintained despite a serious illness and a long period of rehabilitation.

Abstract [sv]

Mobilitet är en förutsättning för oberoende, delaktighet och välbefinnande när man åldras. Utgångspunkten i avhandlingen är att pensioneringen innebär tidsrumsliga förändringar och brott i rutiner som på olika sätt påverkar människors behov av att resa och deras förutsättningar för mobilitet. Syftet med avhandlingen är att utforska mobilitetsstrategier och förändringar i mobilitet i samband med pensioneringen samt hur mobiliteten utvecklas under de första åren som pensionär. Ambitionen är att öka kunskapen om i vilken utsträckning nya pensionärer upprätthåller en önskad mobilitet utifrån deras egna behov och förutsättningar. Avhandlingen baseras empiriskt på resedagböcker som nyblivna pensionärer har fört och kvalitativa intervjuer med samma personer, samt uppföljningsintervjuer tre och ett halvt år senare. Resultaten visar att mobiliteten är en strategi för att skapa en struktur i vardagen som pensionär genom att komma hemifrån, t.ex. för att ta en promenad eller för att uträtta ärenden. Många vardagsmönster behålls vid pensioneringen men informanterna finner också nya åtaganden och söker nya sociala arenor och aktiviteter. Betydelsen av bilen har inte förändrats men den används av andra anledningar än tidigare. Vid pensioneringen skapas andra tidsrumsliga begränsningar vilka inverkar på efterfrågan på mobilitet. Resultaten visa också att "tredje platser" blir viktiga, särskilt bland dem som lever ensamma, eftersom de ger en möjlighet att vara en del av ett socialt sammanhang och en anledning att komma hemifrån. Uppföljningsintervjuerna visade att förutsättningarna för mobilitet förändras när hälsan försämras. Promenaderna blir kortare och bilen används i högre utsträckning för de ärenden dit de tidigare kunde gå eller cykla. Men trots allvarliga sjukdomar och långa perioder av rehabilitering kan mobiliteten upprätthållas. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 99 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 671
Ageing, retirement, mobility, travel activities, place, time-geography, interviews, travel diaries, qualitative longitudinal analysis, åldrande, pensionering, mobilitet, resande, aktivitet, plats, tidsgeografi, intervjuer, resdagböcker, kvalitativ longitudinell analys
National Category
Sociology Other Social Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-124664 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-124664 (DOI)978-91-7685-829-5 (Print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-03-11, K1, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2016-02-09 Created: 2016-02-09 Last updated: 2016-02-17Bibliographically approved

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Berg, Jessica
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NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later LifeDepartment of Social and Welfare StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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