HEALTH- Stay in work to keep health, baby boomers told
According to England’s Chief Medical Officer, it might be better for you to stay on task for longer in a bid to keep active and in good shape.
Everywhere you look these days it seems like someone is trying to stop you doing what it is you really want to do. From social occasions to wild spending sprees, responsibility is afoot in all corners of society these days. Teenagers aren’t even getting pregnant as much as they used to- a clear sign of the times.
The powers that be- England’s chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies- are now going after your pension, or rather retirement plans, too, and attempting to say this is for the good of your health. Anyone who has ever had a job will no-doubt have automatically raised an eyebrow upon reading that bit, but there could well be plenty of substance to back the claim up.
We all know the importance of feeling wanted and useful- it really does have a staggering impact on mental health, which in turn makes us feel more motivated to do things, resulting in either direct or indirect exercise. But when you throw into the equation taking on new professional challenges, you can also add to the benefits better maintained brain function, which could help stave off cognitive decline.
“People are living longer than ever and so retirement presents a real opportunity for baby boomers to be more active than ever before,” Prof Davies is quotes as saying in a BBC News article. “For many people it is a chance to take on new challenges – it is certainly not the start of a slower pace of life it once was.
“Staying in work, volunteering or joining a community group can make sure people stay physically and mentally active for longer.
“The health benefits of this should not be underestimated.”
It’s estimated that a third of all British workers will be over 50 by 2020, and that number is only set to increase as economic demands mean more and more people are retiring later, although the actual numbers therein don’t have much room for growth. Already, three quarters of all people aged between 50 and 70 are in work, and 12% of those over retirement age are still in their jobs too.
Many common health problems associated with this age group are lifestyle based, and avoidable through change. This includes things like quitting smoking, drinking less, taking more exercise and switching to a better, more balanced diet, and many of these are easier to do if you are in a working environment- with a greater chance of having to do some exercise each day, smoking bans in the workplace, and the obvious no-no of turning up drunk to the office, all major reasons for this.
Image credit: Michael Coghlan