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Working After Retirement Associated With Better Health

Study suggests people in bridge employment less likely to have major illness

FRIDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Retirees who engage in bridge employment tend to have better health than those who cease work completely, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

Yujie Zhan, of the University of Maryland in College Park, and colleagues conducted a study of 12,189 retirees who were interviewed to ascertain demographic and health status, as well as their wealth status, employment history, and current working situation.

Participants who were in bridge employment either in their previous career field or in another field were less likely to have a major disease or limitations to their functioning, and those who were in bridge jobs in their previous career field also reported better mental health, the researchers found.

"One way to encourage bridge employment to address the projected growing labor shortages due to the pending retirement of the baby boomers may be to promote the beneficial effects of bridge employment on health outcomes. By educating retirees and prospective retirees with the beneficial effects of bridge employment on maintaining daily functional levels and mental health, it may make it easier to create an encouraging and active societal atmosphere to facilitate bridge employment," the authors write.

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