Purpose. This study aimed to compare the level of disability and occurrence of chronic diseases in employed and unemployed people aged 60-70 years living in the society in the southeastern part of Poland (Podkarpackie region). Materials and methods. A cross-sectional study of 1000 randomly selected people (aged 60-70 years) was performed. The World Health Organization disability assessment schedule questionnaire and a metric questionnaire were used. Results. Only 9.20% of people were employed, more often men and those with tertiary/vocational education. The level of disability was significantly lower in employed people than in unemployed people (p = 0.023). There were significant differences in favor of employed people concerning mobility (p < 0.001), participation in social life (p = 0.002), ability to perform normal household activities (p = 0.006) and self-service activities (p = 0.026). Unemployed people showed increased times of incapacity for their usual activities/work compared to employed people. Conclusions. In Poland, people aged 60-70 years who remain in the labor market have lower levels of disability, fewer chronic diseases, tertiary education (or vocational education) and higher income levels than those who are unemployed.
Keywords: Poland; World Health Organization disability assessment schedule 2.0; disability; elderly; employed; unemployed.