Retirement rhythms: Retirees’ management of time and activities in Denmark

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We scrutinize how the everyday lives of well-educated and healthy Danish retirees are
structured and experienced and study how they organise their days and weeks. Our aim is to
investigate how retirees manage and organise time and the ways these relate to societal rhythms in
order to contribute to theories of retirement and social gerontology. We have combined qualitative
(individual interviews, focus group interviews, design games, and drawings) and quantitative
(activity monitoring, sleep quality, and health markers) data from 13 participants over the age of
65 years, who are research participants in a randomised controlled trial (RCT). Our interdisciplinary
dataset allows us to analyse and compare subjective experiences of everyday activities with objective
measures of daily activities. The older adults lead busy lives with many diverse activities and use
these to structure their everyday lives in ways resembling the rhythms of the labour market with
organised and busy mornings and loose afternoons and evenings. We discuss how our findings relate
to continuity theory and suggest that Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis allows us to study the retirement
rhythms of older adults as part of both biological, social, and societal rhythms. This has practical as
well as conceptual implications.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)68
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2020

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