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Retirement benefits the mind

Researchers have spotted another benefit from retirement - reductions in tiredness and depression.

Retirement benefits the mind

Researchers have spotted another benefit from retirement - reductions in tiredness and depression.

Several studies have shown that retirement at a young age has adverse effects on health. To further analyse the impact of retirement on one's mental health, researchers from Sweden analysed data from more than 11,000 men and almost 2,900 women in France who were surveyed for seven years before and seven years after they retired. Most (72 percent) retired between the ages of 53 and 57 years and all were retired by the age of 64 years.

In the year before retirement, 25 percent of the participants suffered from depression and 7 percent were diagnosed with one or more of the following conditions: diabetes, respiratory disease, heart disease or stroke. It was found that after retirement, there was a substantial decrease in mental and physical fatigue, and a smaller but significant decrease in depression. However, rates of chronic diseases did not reduce after retirement and gradually increased with age. 

The findings indicate that fatigue may be an underlying reason for early exit from employment; and redesign of work, health care interventions or both may be necessary to enable a larger proportion of older people to work in full health.
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