Science & Tech

Exercise is making you age faster, new study suggests

Exercise is making you age faster, new study suggests
Exercise could accelerate the ageing process
Bang Showbiz - Bang Bizarre / VideoElephant

A group of Scandinavian scientists have come up with some new research that will strike fear into the hearts of runners and gym rats alike.

Exercise may not be helping us live longer lives, and it may even be making us age faster than we would otherwise.

The study was carried out by researchers at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland.

More than 11,000 Finnish same-sex twins were studied between 1975 and 2020, with the participants self-reporting how long they exercised for on average.

They were then put into four categories: sedentary, moderately active, active and highly active.

Overall those who exercised the least were about 20 percent more likely to die over the 45 years than those who were regularly active.

However, once lifestyle factors like education, body mass index, smoking and alcohol consumption were factored in, that began to change.

Sedentary people were just seven percent more likely to die than those who were active, and “no additional benefits” were found from high levels of exercise.

In fact, biological ageing was even faster for those who exercised too much, with the most physically active people averaging out at about 1.8 years “older” on their body clocks.

“Our findings support the suggestion that, rather than [exercise] per se reducing the risk of mortality, being active may be an indicator of a healthy phenotype and an overall healthy lifestyle, which co-occur with a lower mortality risk,” the report said.

The World Health Organization says adults aged 18 to 64 should do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity a week.

While the study hasn't yet been peer reviewed, it recently won a national sports medicine prize in the country, where it was conducted over the past 45 years.

Perhaps the judges were all couch potatoes?

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