Activity Levels Drop After Retirement
Plans to become more active once people have greater free time after retirement may be just that, according to a new British study. Among 3,334 men and women followed over about 10 years, those who retired during the study period showed significant declines in physical activity compared to their working years. All were employed at the study’s start, but 785 subsequently retired. Researchers measured physical activity in metabolic equivalents (METS); mowing the lawn, for example, uses about 5 METS an hour, while running equals about 13. Men who retired from jobs not involving manual labor dropped an average 41 METS per week, while women dropped 27. Those leaving manual jobs declined even more in activity. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, scientists noted that more-sedentary retirees lose the health benefits of physical activity as well as risking weight gain.