Middle age or retirement age seems to be the best days for many people as there is a lot of fun than work. However, loneliness or lack of proper support could be a major drawback during this period.
A new study published in the Journal BMJ Open
has reported that joining social groups and being more social will delay premature death than rigorous physical exercises among retired people. The study was led by Dr.Niklas Steffens from the University of Queensland in Australia.
‘Planning to maintain or increase social group connections will help in improving the quality of life and delay early death after retirement.’
The authors looked at 424 people in England in the age of 50 years who were about to retire. The participants were asked about their social life like groups they are a member of and whether they continued in the group. They analyzed the quality of life and incidence of death among the participants for the next six years.
Researchers found that if the participants were a member of two social groups, before they retired, and maintained these memberships over the next six years, their risk of dying was 2%. However, the risk increased to 5% if they gave up the membership of one of the groups, and rose to 12% if they gave up both memberships.
They also found that social group membership that the people maintained after retiring was a significant predictor of death. But physical activity was not a significant predictor of premature death among the retired people.
"People invest a lot of energy and effort into planning their finances, medical care and physical exercise as they look ahead to retirement. Our research shows that 'social planning' that is, planning to maintain or develop new social group memberships may be equally important in promoting health and well-being in retirement," said Steffens.
Reference: Niklas K Steffens, Tegan Cruwys, Catherine Haslam, Jolanda Jetten, S Alexander Haslam. Social group memberships in retirement are associated with reduced risk of premature death: evidence from a longitudinal cohort study. BMJ Open