19 October 2009

Work is the best geroprotector

Working pensioners get sick less
Natalia Eberle, Infox.ruPeople who continue to work after retirement age are in better health.

And work in the specialty preserves their intelligence and saves them from senile dementia.

In October, the American Association of Psychologists published a paper on the study of the health of pensioners. According to its results, people who switch from full-time employment to temporary work or part-time, get sick less often and their overall well-being is better than people who immediately stopped working completely. Moreover, pensioners working in their specialty retain their intelligence longer.

"Given the global economic downturn, more and more people will continue to work after retirement," says study co–author Dr. Mo Wang from the University of Maryland. He and his colleagues relied on data provided by the National Institute of Aging. The survey included 12,189 participants aged 51 to 61 years. They were interviewed starting in 1992 for six years on the subject of well-being, health, finances, as well as work experience and life in retirement without work or with work.

To assess the respondents' health, the researchers considered only health problems that were clearly diagnosed by a doctor. These included hypertension, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke and psychiatric problems. Age, gender, level of education and financial well-being were also taken into account. The results showed that pensioners who continued to work during the period of "transitional employment" (by which the authors meant a period of partial or temporary work as a transition from full workload to termination of work) had fewer diseases and functional disorders than those who immediately completely retired.

In the questionnaire for the participants there were also questions concerning mental activity. The results showed that the intelligence is higher among those pensioners whose work in the period of "transitional employment" is associated with a previous career. However, the quality of mental activity suffered among those who continued to work in retirement, having changed their professional sphere. The authors suggest that pensioners who get a job that is not related to a previous career experience more stress. They have to adapt anew to new working conditions, job responsibilities and another team, which they sometimes can no longer do.

In addition, Wang found that people experiencing financial difficulties, after retirement, are likely to go to work in another professional field. "These people change their field of activity not because they want to change their profession, but because they want to earn more," he said. Wang advises to pay more attention to the choice of work after retirement.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru19.10.2009

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