Many people look at retirement as a time to relax and focus on their hobbies, family and health.

According to a new study published by the Institute of Economic Affairs, however, retirement can actually be harmful to your health.

"Being retired decreases physical, mental and self-assessed health,"
the study's authors wrote.

Why?

According to the study's authors, retired people spend less time being physically active and social.

The study, which was published in conjunction with the Age Endeavour Fellowship charity, shows that the more years spent in retirement, the more health deteriorates.

You could argue that this is due to old age, but the study also compared people in the workforce who are past retirement age with retired people of the same age- and still found that retirement has detrimental health effects.

According to the study, retirement can increase the probability of depression by 40 percent, and increase the probability of having at least one diagnosed physical condition by about 60 per cent.

My retirement is a long way away, but if I have the money, I won't let this study stop me. Retirement doesn't have to mean becoming inactive and anti-social. In fact, it could be the opposite - especially for people who spend their working lives sitting (and solo).

What do you think? What's your ideal retirement age? What do you plan to do during your retirement to stay healthy?

-Katharine Watts, associate web editor

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