From work life to retirement

Bus driver
Image: Bus driver. Credit: Simon Skipper

Every year, approximately 40,000 Danish citizens retire from the active workforce. While some enjoy the freedom and quickly fill their days with various activities, many find the transition difficult. A weakened sense of identity and direction, often combined with a decreased physical and social activity, causes their health and well-being to suffer. To address this, CEHA researchers within the fields of the humanities and health sciences, together with Aarhus, Vejle, and Vordingborg municipalities, are engaged in a comprehensive outreach and intervention project to develop scalable formats that support seniors in preparing for and maintaining a healthy, meaningful pensioner life. The outcome will be a series of evidence-based recommendations and concepts, which, it is hoped, could be replicated in other Danish municipalities and impact the national retirement agenda.


The target group is seniors with little or no education. In the project’s lifespan, approximately 4000 citizens will be enrolled (e.g., as senior ambassadors, test persons, volunteers, or participants in activities). Through co-creation and involvement, the project will define and test formats for peer mentoring and local activities involving exercise, social events, volunteer work, and activities at the seniors’ (former) workplaces. 

Key achievements

The municipalities, CEHA, and the first groups of seniors are engaged in promising activities. For example, a group of eight men in the target group in Vordingborg are currently testing social and physical activities based on advice from researchers, and 100 men in the target group will participate in a summit on 7 October 2021 about preparing and timing retirement well (the latter in cooperation with the trade union 3F). About 10 seniors in Aarhus are currently taking part in developing a senior guidance concept along with researchers and municipal project managers, and recruitment of target group seniors at local companies is well underway. Moreover, CEHA and Aarhus Municipality are planning a large knowledge festival for seniors and relevant stakeholders to take place in Aarhus on 28–29 January 2022. A joint retreat with CEHA-anchored education activities for senior ambassadors will take place in March 2022. 

The project began in 2020 and is generously supported by Nordea-fonden. 

Project manager: Sara Emilie Johansen
Collaborators: Aarhus, Vejle, and Vordingborg municipalities plus trade unions and companies with many employees in the target group