Mobility in the transition to retirement: the intertwining of everyday transportation and physical activity

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To retire from work has potential consequences for patterns of everyday mobility in numerous ways. People born during the 1940s and are now retiring are more heterogeneous than earlier cohorts of retirees. They experience more years with good health after retirement, engage more in leisure-time activities and make more trips and errands. Therefore, their transportation behavior and mobility patterns can be expected to differ from previous generations. This paper is part of a study where the aim is to explore older people’s mobility in connection to the transition from working life to retirement, and their perspectives, resources and experiences in the shaping of their mobility. In this paper, parts of the results are presented, namely how everyday mobility is combined, intertwined, and planned according to the individual project of physical activity. The data constitutes of qualitative interviews with 24 men and women. The results show that being physically active by walking or bicycling is important after retirement and that it often determines where to shop and make errands and when other projects are carried out. Restrictions to combine physical activity and transportations is physical disabilities and illnesses, long distances to shopping- and service facilities and activities as well as poor walking- and bicycling paths. Resources that enables walking and bicycling are time, earlier walking- and bicycle habits and social networks. The study suggests that walking and bicycling are important modes of transportation among the “40s” why there is a potential to promote and increase transportation without the car among present and future retirees.

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