The effect of retirement on health: a panel analysis using data from the Swiss Household Panel

Swiss Med Wkly. 2007 Oct 20;137(41-42):581-5.


Questions under study: Despite the importance of the relationship between retirement and health only a limited amount of empirical research has addressed this issue, particularly concerning physical health. This study examines whether retirement has a short-term influence on six health measures.

Methods: Using data from the Swiss Household Panel from 1999 to 2003, we perform an ordinal regression on changes in health for each of the six health measures.

Results: We found that retirement has no shortterm effect on the health of the large majority of individuals. Moreover, for those individuals whose health status did change, retirement had a primarily positive effect. This positive impact of retirement is mainly reflected by less frequent depression and anxiety, and by the lower degree to which health is an impediment in everyday activities.

Conclusions: The positive changes in health after retirement may be due to the cessation of work-related stress and to an increase in physical and leisure activities.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Retirement / psychology*
  • Switzerland
  • Time Factors