Retirement - a transition to a healthier lifestyle?: evidence from a large Australian study

Ding, Ding, Grunseit, Anne C., Chau, Josephine Y., Vo, Kha, Byles, Julie, and Bauman, Adrian E. (2016) Retirement - a transition to a healthier lifestyle?: evidence from a large Australian study. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 51 (2). pp. 170-178.

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Introduction: Population aging is associated with a rising burden of non-communicable disease, profoundly impacting health policy and practice. Adopting and adhering to healthy lifestyles in middle or older age can protect against morbidity and mortality. Retirement brings opportunities to reconfigure habitual lifestyles and establish new routines. This study examines the longitudinal association between retirement and a range of lifestyle risk behaviors among a large population-based sample of Australian adults.

Methods: Study sample included working adults aged ≥45 years at baseline (2006–2009, N=23,478–26,895). Lifestyle behaviors, including smoking, alcohol use, physical activity, diet, sedentary behavior, and sleep, were measured at both baseline and follow-up (2010). Logistic regression models estimated the odds of having each risk factor at follow-up and multiple linear regression models calculated the change in the total number of risk factors, adjusted for baseline risk and other covariates. Sociodemographic characteristics and reasons for retirement were tested as potential effect modifiers.

Results: During the 3.3-year follow-up, about 11% of respondents retired. Retirement was associated significantly with reduced odds of smoking (AOR=0.74); physical inactivity (AOR=0.73); excessive sitting (AOR=0.34); and at-risk sleep patterns (AOR=0.82). There was no significant association between retirement and alcohol use or fruit and vegetable consumption. Change in the total number of lifestyle risk factors differed significantly by reason for retirement.

Conclusions: In a large population-based Australian cohort, retirement was associated with positive lifestyle changes. Health professionals and policymakers should consider developing special programs for retirees to capitalize on the healthy transitions through retirement.

Item ID: 49333
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2607
Funders: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), National Heart Foundation of Australia (NHF)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC Early Career Fellowship #1072223, NHF Postdoctoral Fellowship #100567, NHMRC Program Grant #569940
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 02:06
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4499 Other human society > 449999 Other human society not elsewhere classified @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420605 Preventative health care @ 20%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420301 Aged health care @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) @ 50%
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