The past few years have seen various studies conducted on retirement, with many concluding that retirement could in fact worsen our health.
Many studies have found that stopping work completely upon reaching retirement age can increase the risk of many major diseases as well as resulting in a reduced sense of self-esteem, well-being and physical health.
However, this latest study of over 14,000 employees for France’s national grid has conversely suggested that staying in a stressful job can have a negative impact, and voluntary retirement can come as a great relief by cutting stress and fatigue.
This latest study involved researchers from Stockholm University tracking the health of French employees over a 15 year period which covered both before and after the workers decided to take up their company’s offer of early retirement around the age of 55.
The results showed that in the year before retirement, a quarter of the workers suffered from depressive symptoms, with one in ten having a known medical condition such as heart disease.
After retirement there was a notable drop in the rates of both mental and physical fatigue, as well as a reduction in depressive symptoms.
Lead researcher Dr Hugo Westerlund has said that the explanation for the findings could simply be related to the fact that if older workers are finding themselves extremely tired after work, the decrease in fatigue could reflect removal of the source of the problem.
“What this research tells us is that we need to do something about the working life itself and change it to accommodate older people if they are to work for longer and in good health.” He said.