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Take up tennis if you want to live longer

Racquet sports, swimming and aerobics are associated with the best chance of staving off death, new study results suggest. 
Tennis-Getty.jpg

Racquet sports, swimming and aerobics are associated with the best chance of staving off death, new study results suggest.

To determine which sports and exercise are helping people to live longer, a team of international researchers analysed data on 80,306 adults from 11 nationally representative annual health surveys for England and Scotland, carried out between 1994-2008.

In each survey, participants were quizzed about what type and how much physical activity they had undertaken in the preceding four weeks, and whether it was enough to make them breathless and sweaty.

Physical activity included heavy duty domestic chores, gardening, DIY and walking, and the six most popular forms of sport/exercise: cycling, swimming, aerobics, running, football/rugby and racquet sports, including badminton, tennis and squash.

The survival of each participant

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Racquet sports, swimming and aerobics are associated with the best chance of staving off death, new study results suggest. 


Risk of death from any cause was 47% lower among those who played racquet sports. Picture: Getty

To determine which sports and exercise are helping people to live longer, a team of international researchers analysed data on 80,306 adults from 11 nationally representative annual health surveys for England and Scotland, carried out between 1994-2008. 

In each survey, participants were quizzed about what type and how much physical activity they had undertaken in the preceding four weeks, and whether it was enough to make them breathless and sweaty. 

Physical activity included heavy duty domestic chores, gardening, DIY and walking, and the six most popular forms of sport/exercise: cycling, swimming, aerobics, running, football/rugby and racquet sports, including badminton, tennis and squash. 

The survival of each participant was tracked for an average of nine years, during which time 8,790 died from all causes and 1,909 from heart disease or stroke. 

Compared with survey respondents who said they had not played a given sport, the risk of death from any cause was 47% lower among those who played racquet sports, 28% lower among swimmers, and 27% lower among those who did aerobics. 

The study authors said the findings should help health professionals ‘bang the drum’ for encouraging involvement in regular exercise and sports as a good way of staying healthy. 


Oja P et al (2016) Associations of specific types of sports and exercise with all-cause and cardiovascular-disease mortality: a cohort study of 80 306 British adults. British Journal of Sports Medicine. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096822

 

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