Researchers from the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank surveyed as many as 9,000 adults aged 50 to 70 from 11 European countries.
Participants filled in detailed questionnaires about their health and wellbeing before retirement and at various stages afterwards.
The study tried to account for the fact that some people will retire due to health problems.
But lead researcher Gabriel Sahlgren pointed out that retirement is such a life-changing event that it can actually be far more stressful than continuing to work.
Many will lose touch with friends and colleagues and become isolated. They may take less exercise if they walked or cycled to work or had physically demanding jobs.
And the drop in income that comes with retirement will have a further detrimental effect on their wellbeing and overall health. The study concluded: ‘The results display large negative health effects of retirement among both women and men.
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