Job is 'Killing' You? It's Just the Opposite, New Study Says

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RetireAre you planning your retirement? Well, maybe you might want to reconsider.

Most people count the years, months, weeks and days leading up to their permanent vacation from work. But based on new scientific information, you may want to hold off from leaving the workplace too soon, as this might be detrimental to your health.

A new research study published by the CDC cites a survey of nearly 85,000 Americans ages 65 and older for a period spanning of 15 years, which concludes that delaying retirement is beneficial to both health and socioeconomic status. These participants were cross-sectionally pooled from 1997 through 2011 by the National Health Interview Survey and approved by the University of Miami institutional review board.

In this national survey, the typical adult was age 75, had one or two chronic health conditions and did not work. However, out of this massive group approximately 10,200 were still working at the time of the survey. Roughly 60% of those employed held white collar positions, and studies have shown people working in those positions had a reduced likelihood of falling victim to poor health.

Blue collar workers, which made up 20% of the group still in the workplace, showed to have a significantly lower chance of acquiring musculoskeletal disorders. That further indicates that even in the workplace setting, those who had more physically demanding tasks were more likely to have better overall health than those who do not.

When it comes to employment after age 65, being jobless was the least favorable condition as it relates to your overall health. Those who were either unemployed or retired were nearly three times more likely to report "Fair/Poor Health," as compared to those reported holding white collar positions.

The health rating system, which is indicative of overall health and socioeconomic factors, is based on four categories: Self-rated health; multimorbidity (lifetime diagnosis of terminal illnesses); multiple functional limitations; and HALex, a method of utility assessment that combines an individual's perceived health and activity limitations.

The study's authors concluded that "[b]eing unemployed/retired was associated with the greatest risk of poor health across all health status measures, even after controlling for smoking status, obesity, and other predictors of health," while adding that "[b]lue collar and service workers had better outcomes than white collar workers on multimorbidity and functional limitations measures."

It is also worth noting that there was little or no correlation between education, race/ethnicity, sex, smoking or drinking history and health status. Instead, the sole and primary indicator to better health at a later age was the amount of work being performed.

This article was published by the CDC on September 24 in the "Preventing Chronic Disease" section of its website.