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Does retirement offer a "window of opportunity" for lifestyle change?: views from English workers on the cusp of retirement

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/02/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Aging and Health
Issue number1
Volume29
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)25-44
Publication statusPublished
Early online date19/01/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Objective: Improving health behaviors can delay or prevent lifestyle diseases. Previous quantitative studies suggest that interventions at retirement may be particularly effective. This study introduces the voices of older people to explore the potential of retirement as a change point. Method: This qualitative study of current and anticipated health behaviors among 55 people approaching retirement in England reports thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews. Results: Many respondents expected improved health behaviors whether from conscious changes or simply as a beneficial side effect of retiring, while a smaller group felt retirement carried inherent health risks, with a need to guard against these. Discussion: The retirement transition can potentially establish positive health behaviors, but interventions need careful targeting to maximize their benefit. Further research is required to explore how far intentions translate into practice and the barriers and facilitators to doing so.