Working past the ripe old age of 65 could add years to your life, suggests a new research from the Oregon State University (OSU).
Researchers keenly analyzed around 18 years of data from the year 1992 to 2010, through the Healthy Retirement Study led by the University of Michigan. They found that those who stayed on the job past the traditional retirement age of 65 lived longer.
"It may not apply to everybody, but we think work brings people a lot of economic and social benefits that could impact the length of their lives," said Chenkai Wu, lead author and doctoral student at the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, OSU.
Healthy elderly people who worked a year past the traditional retirement age of 65 had an 11 percent lower mortality risk.
On the other side of the coin, unhealthy people who worked a bit beyond 65 showed a 9 percent decreased risk of death. This slight difference might be inferred to the fact that healthy people who worked longer encompassed an active body and mind.
Hence holistically, it was observed that those who continued working beyond their retirement age whether healthy or unhealthy, experienced longevity. Regardless of their health status, a lowered risk of mortality was observed.
Based on these observations, Robert Stawski, co-author of the paper, said that the healthy group generally had a slight edge over the unhealthy group when it came to education, lifestyle and wealth. However, when taking all of these issues into account, the pattern still remained.
"The findings seem to indicate that people who remain active and engaged gain a benefit from that," added Stawski.
Although the study linked post-retirement work to a lengthened life, researchers emphasized that further research was needed in terms of understanding the correlation between health and work.
The findings were published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health dated March 2016.