Transition to retirement can have a psychological impact on an individual. It can lead to identity disruption, diminished self trust and anxiety. Engaging in some sport activities before retirement helps one better adjust with the changes that come with retirement, revealed a new study. David Walsh, assistant professor at University of Houston in the US, said, "We know that sports can enhance the development of children and adolescents, but the dynamic that comes with sport may be beneficial to the development and well-being of adults as they age. Retirement can set us on a positive or negative trajectory, depending on how we adapt. Sport can play a positive role in adults’ continued development."
250 individuals in a US retirement community were part of this study. Walsh said, "Transitions brought tangible and intangible losses to participants, particularly to their sense of self." The study found that when sport was applied to these challenging transitions, particularly during retirement, the adjustments were smoother. Study participants felt as if they belonged to a community, were escaping perceived chaos or given more control in their lives.
Walsh said, "Sport was found to be a resource-rich system they sought out because of what they thought it could do for them, bring self-confidence, social interaction and physical activity. This can be applied to the transition of retirement."
The findings will be presented at the 2015 Conference of the North American Society for Sport Management in Ottawa, Canada.