A new study led by University of Sydney has found that retirement can contribute to positive lifestyle changes that could make you healthier.
"Compared with people who were still working, retirees had increased physical activity levels, reduced sitting time, were less likely to smoke, and had healthier sleep patterns."
"A major life change like retirement creates a great window of opportunity to make positive lifestyle changes - it's a chance to get rid of bad routines and engineer new, healthier behaviours." she said.
The data revealed that retirees:
- Increased physical activity by 93 minutes a week
- Decreased sedentary time by 67 minutes per day
- Increased sleep by 11 minutes per day
The differences were significant even after adjusting for factors such as age, sex, urban/rural residence, marital status and education. There was no significant association found between retirement and alcohol use or fruit and vegetable consumption.
Researchers believe the study represents good news for older workers delaying retirement for fear of becoming inactive, with retirement giving people more time to pursue healthier lifestyles.