Background Retirement is associated with an increase in recreational physical activity but its impact on other domains of activity (at home, for transport) and sedentary behaviour, such as time spent watching television (TV) is unknown. We examined the association between retirement and changes in domain-specific and overall activity and TV viewing.
Methods Data were derived from the population-based EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer)–Norfolk cohort. Physical activity and TV viewing time were self-reported at baseline (1997–2000) and follow-up 2 (2006–2007) by 3334 participants employed at baseline, of whom 785 (24%) were retired at follow-up 1 (2002–2006). Multivariable regression models were fitted to estimate the association between retirement and changes in physical activity and weekly TV viewing time.
Results Compared with continued employment, retirement was associated with a decline in overall activity (men: non-manual, −40.9 MET h/wk; manual, −49.6 MET h/wk; women: non-manual, −26.9 MET h/wk; manual, −31.6 MET h/wk; all p<0.001 (MET, metabolic equivalent of task)). Domain-specific activity declined for transport and occupational (p<0.001) and increased for recreational (p<0.02) and household (p≤0.002) activity. We observed significant interaction between retirement and social class in respect of overall and domain-specific activity apart from household activity. Retirement was associated with a mean increase in TV viewing time, with the largest increase among manual social classes (men: +3.9 h/wk; women: +2.8 h/wk; both p<0.001).
Conclusions Interventions should aim to promote household and transport as well as recreational activity. Further research on the impact of retirement on sedentary behaviour is needed.
- Physical Activity
- Health Behaviour
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