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The secret of longevity: this way we could easily live to be 90 years and older!


How does physical activity affect life expectancy?

Exercise and physical activity are healthy for the human body. Doctors have now found that men and women benefit greatly from increased physical activity when it comes to life expectancy. For women, just one hour of physical activity a day is enough to greatly increase the likelihood of reaching the age of over 90 years. The same applies to men from a physical activity of 1.5 hours a day.

In their current study, scientists at the Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that women who spent one hour a day doing physical activity were much more likely to live longer than 90 years. A comparable effect was also found in men who exercise 1.5 hours a day. The experts published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health".

Where did the data come from in the study?

The relationship between movement and a longer lifespan has been extensively studied in the past. However, many previous studies either combined the results for men and women (without differentiating the sexes) or only examined men, rather than evaluating women and men at the same time, the doctors say. The current investigation, however, analyzed how the height and daily physical activity of women and men can influence life expectancy. The scientists used the data from a Dutch cohort study (NLCS) that collected information from more than 120,000 men and women in 1986.

What activities did the subjects perform?

Of the participants, 4,161 women and 3,646 men aged between 68 and 70 years stated how much physical activity they do every day, how much they weigh, how big they are and what weight they had at 20 years of age. The physical activities carried out included walks with the dog, gardening, sports and cycling to work. The women and men were divided into different categories. People who did less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day, a group that was active between 30 and 60 minutes, a group whose activity lasted between 60 and 90 minutes, and the last group of subjects who were active for more than 90 minutes . All participants were then medically monitored up to the age of 90 or until their death. Of these subjects, 944 women and 433 men over 90 years lived.

One hour of physical activity is ideal for women

Doctors found that women who do physical activity for between 30 and 60 minutes a day are 21 percent more likely to reach the age of 90 than women who are physically active for 30 minutes or less. The experts also said that an hour seems to be the optimal time for physical activity in women.

How did physical activity affect men?

If men do 90 minutes of physical activity a day, they are 39 percent more likely to reach the age of 90 compared to men who are physically active less than half an hour a day. The study also concluded that every additional half hour of physical activity a day increases the likelihood of men becoming 90 years old by five percent.

Were there any restrictions on the exam?

However, the doctors state that the current study is only observational, since the information was provided by the participants in the NLCS study and not by the scientists themselves. Other factors may also have played a role in the longevity of individuals, such as whether they smoke or drink. However, the experts believe that the results of the study are quite reliable due to the large cohort of people in a similar age group. (as)

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