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Video: The Types Of Sports That Maximize Life Extension Are Named
The types of sports that maximize life extension are named
People who play tennis, badminton, or soccer tend to live longer than those who cycle, swim and jog.
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According to a new epidemiological study of Danish citizens, playing tennis effectively prolongs life. The study found that adults who reported playing tennis frequently or participating in similar group sports lived longer than those who were sedentary. Tennis players also generally lived longer than people who played solo sports such as jogging, swimming, and cycling.
The results of the study raise interesting questions about the role of the social interaction factor in the benefits that physical activity brings.
Many studies have previously shown the benefits of physical activity, but until now it was not entirely clear which sports are best for health. One 2017 British study that analyzed data from 80,000 British citizens found that those who played racquet games lived longer than those who ran.
These results sparked the interest of an international group of scientists. They previously studied the relationship between running and longevity and concluded that moderate exercise during running was more associated with increased longevity than light and high exercise.
For the new study, which was published this week in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the same scientists decided to expand their study to see how different sports are related to longevity.
To begin with, they turned to the same data resource they used to research jogging. This database contained data from Danes who answered questions about their lifestyle and what sports they do and how often. The researchers then compared this data with data on the deaths of study participants. One of the most obvious findings of the study was that people who did not practice any sport tended to live less. However, the most surprising results came from a study of the relationship between life expectancy and individual sports.
Cycling is the most common sport among Danes, and it was associated with 3.7 extra years of life compared to sedentary Danes. Running was associated with an additional 3.2 years of life, according to the study. However, even these types of physical activity do not compare with the benefits of playing tennis, which is associated with an additional 9.7 years of life, badminton - 6.2 years, and football - 5 years.
The data were not influenced in any way by factors such as educational level, socioeconomic status and age of the person involved in this sport. However, the authors admit that those who played tennis lived longer because they were wealthier and had more free time and money.
The authors of the study cannot yet explain the causal dependence of such a different influence of different sports, since the study was only observational. However, the authors admit that this is due to social interaction.
“We know from other research that social support can help reduce stress. Thus, playing and interacting with other people, as in games that require a partner or a team, is likely to have unique psychological and physiological effects,”says one of the study's authors, Dr. James O'Keefe.