Toowong Tennis Old Dogs are smart


Toowong Tennis Old Dogs in action

They may be old but they are still enjoying tennis even with many in their 70’s and 80’s. But what the old dogs have demonstrated is now recognized that Tennis tops list of sports for increasing life expectancy. Read it in full by clicking on the name.

Thank you, Richard Huckett, for bringing this to our notice.


This article states that tennis players lived longest among the activities they looked at, a head of soccer, swimming and cycling. The key points from their research were:

  • Tennis players lived more than 9 years longer than people who were sedentary, topping the list of sports

  • Researchers think social connection is the key to longevity benefits

  • The effect persisted after accounting for wealth and education status.


WHY TENNIS?


Most physical activity is beneficial, but according to this latest piece of research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, not equally so — at least when it comes to increases in life expectancy.

Researchers looked at 9,000 people for up to 25 years, tracking what physical activity they did and when they died. They used data from the Copenhagen City Heart Study, a long-running study into heart health.

"And then we saw how they die off … and [some] die a little faster than other groups," said Dr Peter Schnohr, lead author of the study.

Things like age, sex, smoking, income and education status can affect results like these, because it might simply be that tennis players are wealthier and can afford better healthcare, meaning they live longer.


But Dr Schnohr and his team controlled for those factors in the analysis — and the effect persisted. That allowed them to analyse differences between eight sports: tennis, badminton, soccer, cycling, swimming, jogging, calisthenics and going to the gym.

What the researchers think the sports associated with the biggest increases in life expectancy — tennis (9.7 years), badminton (6.2 years) and soccer (4.7 years) have in common is that it takes two or more people to play them.

"The tennis players, they maybe take a beer or something else to drink after the game. They are two at least," Dr Schnohr said. This happened when our group first started.

Sports near the bottom of the list were more typically done alone, like jogging (3.2 years) and going to the gym (1.5 years).


There is good evidence that strong social bonds have a protective effect on a person's health.


So us Old Dogs are doing something right. But maybe we should be doing more socialising. Read the full article now.


Thanks again Richard.

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