Retirement may be just as wonderful as you imagined. Not having to worry about an alarm clock waking you up is just one of the many glories. A new study led by the University of Sydney has found that retirement can play a role in positive lifestyle behaviors that are beneficial to your health, Yagana Sah writes on Huff Post.
The University of Sydney researchers studied the lifestyle practices of 25,000 adults in Australia. They looked at smoking, physical activity, diet, alcohol ingestion and sleep patterns. When around 11% of the participants retired, about three years later, the researchers followed up to see how their habits had changed.
"Our research revealed that retirement was associated with positive lifestyle changes... it’s a chance to get rid of bad routines and engineer new, healthier behaviors," said lead researcher Dr. Melody Ding in a public release.
The retirees of this study were more likely to become more active than their employed peers.
The data revealed that the retirees increased physical activity by 93 minutes a week. They were also sitting less.
Additionally, the retirees slightly increased their sleep by 11 minutes per day and 50% of female smokers quit smoking after retirement.
Retirement gave people more time to engage in healthier lifestyles, researchers say.
"The lifestyle changes were most pronounced in people who retire after working full-time. When people are working and commuting, it eats a lot of time out of their day. When they retire, they have time to be physically active and sleep more," Dr. Ding said.
The researchers believe that study will encourage people to think positively about retirement.
It is important to plan out how you will allocate your free time in productive and healthy ways.