Retirement makes you healthier and happier, research shows, as former office workers report they exercise more and feel better
- The study followed more than 20,000 people between the ages of 50 and 80 across Europe
- Researchers say women may feel happier than men in retirement
Some don't enjoy the prospect. But retirement can roll back the years, leaving us feeling happier and healthier, says a study.
Former office workers in particular can become significantly fitter the more they walk or participate in an exercise class, researchers say.
The study, which followed more than 20,000 people aged 50 to 80 in ten European countries, found that retirement appears to have a transformative effect on everyday life.
Those who had stopped working were more likely to say they felt in good or excellent health than those who were employed.
After taking into account the fact that retirees tend to be older, researchers found that participants who had left work were actually less likely than employees to experience physical problems with daily activities such as housework and gardening.
The researchers say women may feel happier than men in retirement because they tend to spend more of their free time with family and friends (Stock Image)
Researchers found that participants who had left work were actually less likely than employees to experience physical problems with daily activities such as housework and gardening (Stock Image)
The study, published in the journal Economics and Human Biology, found that there was a particular mental health improvement for white-collar workers, such as managers and office workers, and for women, after they retired.
The researchers say women may feel happier than men in retirement because they typically spend more of their free time with family and friends.
Early retirement did not appear to provide significant health benefits.
Professor Reyn van Ewijk, who led the research at the Johanes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany, said: 'Those in stressful jobs, who are overloaded with work, can feel real relief in retirement and feel healthier and better overall. '