Monday 10 December 2012

• More men retire in December than any other month • Half of people take up sport once they retire • A quarter say they are mentally more active since retiring • A third say retirement has made them more fulfilled


More men retire in December than in any other month* and many people are reporting that retirement has improved their physical and mental well-being leaving them more fulfilled.  Research by Saga Health Insurance shows that half of people (49%) take up a sport after retiring, a third (32%) say they feel more fulfilled and another third (31%) say they are more physically active than when they were working**.

Perhaps the most positive change is people's mental well-being - over a quarter (27%) say they feel more mentally active since leaving work, compared to just 16% who say they are less so.  This could be due to the number of people who take up new hobbies or embark on learning new skills in retirement. 

Stress levels also drop dramatically upon retirement.  Over half (52%) say they feel less stressed than when they were at work, with men more likely to say this (58%) than women (42%). 

Interestingly, it seems that women find it harder to mentally adjust to life after work.  Over a quarter (28%) of women report that their stress levels got worse after retiring, compared to 13% of men, women are also more likely to say that they are less fulfilled - 28%, compared to 20% of men.

Walking is the most popular new exercise people take up in retirement, with a quarter (26%) saying they take it up as a sport, swimming is the next most popular new activity, with one in ten retired people taking the plunge.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, commented: "Some people approaching retirement may have concerns about what life after work may mean for them, but the truth is that for a great many people, retirement is a chance to get active, both mentally and physically and enjoy new activities they didn't have time for before."

The free online Saga Health Club can help over 50s monitor the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle. By joining at people can access a health assessment which provides an accurate and scientific evaluation of their lifestyle and looks at their future risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  All people have to do is fill out a simple questionnaire about their health, family history, eating and exercise habits.  The health club can then provide them with a 12 week action plan and regular updates with useful information such as exercise and nutrition tips to help them improve their health.



Notes to editors
• * Data is based on actual and planned retirement dates for more than 427,000 Saga customers
• **Populus interviewed 2,048 adults online between 11th and 13th May 2012. 960 respondents were over 50, and 488 were retired. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

  Overall  Men  Women 
Improved levels of physical activity
since retirement 
31%  30%  33% 
Taken up a sport since retirement  49%  51%  46% 
Taken up walking since retirement  26%  29%  23% 
Taken up swimming since retirement 9% 7% 11%

Which of the following do you feel has improved, stayed the same or got worse since you retired?

  Total  Men  Women 
Feeling mentally active  Improved 27%
Got Worse 16% 

 Improved 27%
Got Worse 15%

Improved 29%
Got Worse 18% 
Feeling fulfilled  Improved 32%
Got Worse 23% 
Improved 33%
Got Worse 20% 
Improved 29%
Got Worse 28% 
Stress levels  Improved 52%
Got Worse 19% 
Improved 58%
Got Worse 13% 
Improved 42%
Got Worse 28% 

About Saga Health Insurance
Saga has been providing quality health insurance for nearly 25 years and specialises in the needs of the over 50s.

Saga Health Insurance offers:
• Comprehensive range of plans at competitive prices
• Prompt access to private medical treatment
• Access to a wide choice of UK private hospitals
• No upper age limit and no medical required.
• A range of options to help reduce premiums,  including a four week wait option and variable excesses

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