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Emerging Longitudinal Scholars: Midlife, employment, engagement and wellbeing

Join us for the fourth webinar in our Emerging Longitudinal Scholars (ELS) series focusing on midlife, employment, engagement and wellbeing. Speakers include Stella Tsoli (University College London) and Rebecca Florisson (Lancaster University).

About the webinar series

Chaired by CLOSER Research Fellow, Dr Neil Kaye, our ELS webinar series provides a collaborative platform for fostering knowledge exchange and showcasing research by early career researchers using UK longitudinal population study data.  

We’ve curated a diverse programme of talks for this inaugural series. The range of topics covered will include: children’s development, healthy ageing, diet and health, employment and wellbeing in midlife, mental wellbeing, ethnicity and gender.   

Each showcase webinar will include two 20-minute presentations, with ample time dedicated to discussion and collaboration. 

About this webinar

The fourth webinar in our 2024 ELS webinar series will focus on midlife, employment, engagement and wellbeing with talks from Stella Tsoli (University College London) and Rebecca Florisson (Lancaster University). 

Check out the presentation abstracts below for more information. 


Life-course social participation and physical activity in midlife: Longitudinal associations in the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70)
Stella Tsoli (UCL) 

A hypothesized benefit of social participation is that it encourages people to be more physically active. However, limited evidence exists on the association between social participation over the life-course and physical activity in midlife. We sought to apply a life-course framework to examine the association of social participation and device measured physical activity in midlife in the UK.  

We used the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study (BCS70), which includes all people born in Britain during a single week in 1970. Social participation was assessed at ages 16, 30, 34 and 42. Physical activity was measured by accelerometery at age 46, as mean daily step count and time spent in Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA). The associations of social participation and physical activity were tested using two different life-course models: the sensitive period model and the accumulation model. 

Individuals with medium and high participation compared to no social participation over their life-course had higher mean daily step count and MVPA in midlife, supporting the accumulation model. In the sensitive period model, only those that actively participated at age 42 had higher mean daily steps and MVPA compared to those who did not participate. 

Our study provides empirical evidence on the importance of sustaining social participation at all ages over the life-course rather than at a particular timepoint of someone’s life. If our findings reflect causal effects, interventions to promote social participation throughout the life-course could be an avenue to promote physical activity in middle life.  


How workers’ employment trajectories are affected by insecure employment at the early career stage
Rebecca Florisson (Lancaster University) 

This research, undertaken as an ESRC-funded PhD at Queen Mary, explores how engagement with insecure work — particularly multiple forms of insecurity — during the early career affects UK workers’ longer-term employment trajectories and outcomes. This work uses a holistic measure of labour market insecurity across three dimensions derived from the literature (as outlined in Florisson 2022, this uses among others Olsthoorn, 2014, Kalleberg, 2018, Richardson, 2022):  

  • contractual insecurity, where people are not guaranteed future hours or future work 
  • financial insecurity, where people experience low pay or unpredictable pay 
  • and (lack of) access to rights and protections within the UK context.  

As a new contribution, these three dimensions of insecurity are represented by eight indicators for insecurity selected from the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society (1991 to present). The work exploits this data source tracking the labour market entry of 8,500 young workers aged 16-24 and classifying the different levels of intensity and duration of insecurity at every point of observation. It then tracks individual outcomes over time using descriptive analyses, regressions and sequence analysis.  

The analysis demonstrates that cumulative levels of insecurity in the UK have been relatively stable over the past 30 years. Further, it finds that while three quarters of young workers who enter into insecure work obtain secure positions within three years, a sizeable minority of workers remain in insecure work for protracted periods of time, suggesting clear employment penalties for young workers who engage in insecure work that persist for some time. 

Accessing the webinar

This webinar will be delivered via MS Teams. Instructions for how to access the session will be sent to all registered attendees prior to the session. Please book your place via the webinar Eventbrite to ensure you receive the joining details. 

The session will be recorded and videos posted after the event has ended. 

Other webinars in this series

Registration is open for all upcoming sessions in our 2024 ELS webinar series:

Further information

If you have any questions, or require further information, please contact CLOSER Digital Communications and Events Manager, Jennie Blows (