Retirement can be good for your health

A study in Australia compared people who had retired with those (of similar age) who were still working. Those who retired spent more time in physical activity and less time each day sitting down.

Retirement also resulted in less smoking (for women) and healthier sleep patterns. Researcher Melody Ding says time previously consumed by work can be freed up to adopt healthier activities and concludes that “retirement could represent a positive transition to a healthier lifestyle”.

Olderwegrow - Growing old with grace

There is also “strong evidence for retirement having a beneficial effect on mental health (i.e. depression, distress and well-being)” according to Iris van der Heide and her colleagues, who suggest that “improvement in mental health shortly after retirement may be linked to a reduction in (work related) stress”.


Retirement—A Transition to a Healthier Lifestyle?”

Ding D., Grunseit A. C., Chau J. Y., Vo K., Byles J., Bauman A. E. Retirement – A transition to a healthier lifestyle?: Evidence
from a large Australian study. Am J Prev Med; 51: 170– 178 (2016) DOI:

“Is retirement good for your health?” citeas van der Heide, I., van Rijn, R.M., Robroek, S.J. et al. Is retirement good for your health? A systematic review of longitudinal studies. BMC Public Health 13, 1180 (2013).