Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Retirement reduces tiredness and depression, study finds

Date:
November 24, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Retirement leads to a substantial reduction in mental and physical fatigue and depressive symptoms, finds a new study. However, the research also concludes that retirement does not change the risk of major chronic illnesses such as respiratory disease, diabetes and heart disease.

Retirement leads to a substantial reduction in mental and physical fatigue and depressive symptoms, finds a study published on the British Medical Journal website. However, the research also concludes that retirement does not change the risk of major chronic illnesses such as respiratory disease, diabetes and heart disease.

The authors, led by Dr Hugo Westerlund from Stockholm University, say their research findings have important implications given that people will be working for longer and retiring later in life.

Retirement is a major life transition, says the study. But the results of various studies investigating the health effects of retirement have been inconsistent with some suggesting a beneficial effect and others concluding the reverse.

This large scale population based study is ground-breaking as it observes participants for a long period of time (15 years) and for 7 years prior to retirement and 7 years post retirement. The research is based on almost 190,000 observation years.

The participants were drawn from a large French cohort study and included 11,246 men and 2,858 women who were surveyed annually from 1989 to 2007. The researchers argue that "a major strength of this study is that it is based on repeated yearly measurements over an extended time period."

Most participants were married (89%) and belonged to higher or middle employment grades. They all retired on a statutory basis -- 72% between the ages of 53 and 57 inclusive -- and all participants had retired by the age of 64. In the year before retirement, one in four (25%) participants had suffered from depressive symptoms and 728 (7%) were diagnosed with one or more of the following: respiratory disease, diabetes, heart disease or stroke.

Unmarried respondents and those in low employment grades had higher odds of physical (but not mental) fatigue.

The results show that retirement is linked with a substantial decrease in both mental and physical fatigue, with a smaller but significant decrease in depressive symptoms. However, the research also shows there is no association between retirement and chronic disease. As expected, say the authors, these diseases gradually increased with age.

The authors believe there are a number of explanations for the findings: "if work is tiring for many older workers, the decrease in fatigue could simply reflect removal of the source of the problem ... furthermore, retirement may allow people more time to engage in stimulating and restorative activities, such as physical exercise," they write.

They conclude that their research results "indicate that fatigue may be an underlying reason for early exit from the labour market and decreased productivity, and redesign of work, healthcare interventions or both may be necessary to enable a larger proportion of older people to work in full health."

In an accompanying editorial, Alex Burdorf, a professor in the determinants of public health in the Netherlands, says the study "is unique in that annual health measurements were carried out several years before and after retirement."

Burdorf believes further research is needed to corroborate the findings as they contradict other studies and says "it is too early to make definite claims about positive and negative benefits from retirement at a particular age." The author agrees, however, that efforts are needed to improve and adapt working conditions "to help elderly workers maintain good health."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Retirement reduces tiredness and depression, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123191312.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, November 24). Retirement reduces tiredness and depression, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123191312.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Retirement reduces tiredness and depression, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123191312.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins