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Lifestyle Longevity

People Who Work After Retiring Enjoy Better Health

14 years, 7 months ago

10210  0
Posted on Oct 14, 2009, 6 a.m.

National study finds that those men and women who stay in their original occupational field fare best mentally.

Retirees who transition from full-time work into a temporary or part-time job experience fewer major diseases and are able to function better day-to-day than people who stop working altogether.  These findings remained significant, even after controlling for people's physical and mental health before retirement.  Mo Wang, from University of Maryland (USA), and colleagues studied data from 12,189 participants in the national Health and Retirement Study (USA), ages 51 to 61 years at the beginning of the study.   Every two years for a six-year period, the study subjects were interviewed about their health, finances, employment history and work or retirement life.  The team considered physician-diagnosed health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke and psychiatric problems, as well as data collected by a basic mental health questionnaire, finding that those retirees who continued to work in a bridge job experienced fewer major diseases and fewer functional limitations than those who fully retired.  In addition, people whose post-retirement jobs were related to their previous careers reported better mental health than those who fully retired.

Yujie Zhan, Mo Wang, Songqi Liu, Kenneth S. Shultz.  Bridge Employment and Retirees' Health: A Longitudinal Investigation."   Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Vol. 14, No. 4.

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