Tennis, horseback riding or swimming: which sports extend life expectancy?

Sport is not the same as sport - How strong is the impact on life expectancy?
In general, most sports are considered healthy. However, an international team of researchers has now found that some sports have particularly positive effects on health, while others have no effect.

In the current study, the research team led by Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the University of Sydney examined the effects of various sports on health and life expectancy. Swimming, aerobics, tennis and similar setback sports therefore have the best effect against deaths due to cardiovascular diseases. The scientists have published their results in the specialist journal "British Journal of Sports Medicine".

Different effects on the risk of fatal cardiovascular diseases
In the large-scale cooperation between the universities of Sydney, Oxford, Edinburgh, the UKK Institute in Finland, the Institute for Sports Science at the University of Graz and a number of other universities, the international research team led by Prof. Stamatakis has the effect of various sports on the risk of fatalities cardiovascular diseases examined.

Data from more than 80,000 subjects examined
The scientists used the data from eleven representative British cohort studies from 1994 to 2008 to take a look at possible connections between exercise in six different sports / exercise disciplines and mortality. A total of 80,306 adults with an average age of 52 years were included in the study. In the cohort studies, the participants also provided information about their sporting activity and the intensity of the exercises (question such as: were you out of breath or very sweaty?).

Football and jogging without a positive effect?
The researchers analyzed possible effects on life expectancy for the sports of cycling, swimming, aerobics, soccer, jogging and the setback sports of tennis, squash and badminton. It had been shown that compared to study participants who had not participated in the relevant sport, the overall risk of death was 47 percent lower for kickback sports, 28 percent lower for swimming, 27 percent lower for aerobics and 15 percent for cycling lower. No comparable effects were found for soccer and jogging.

Swimming, aerobics and tennis are particularly healthy
Regarding the risk of deaths from cardiovascular diseases, the researchers found a 56 percent reduction in kickback sports, 41 percent in swimming, and 36 percent in aerobics. Cycling, soccer and jogging remained without a positive effect here.

Determine the advantages of individual sports more precisely
"Our results show that it is not only a matter of how much and how often sport is practiced, but also what type of exercise you are doing," said Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis. Participation in certain sports can have various health benefits. These observations should be used to determine and implement effective health-promoting exercise programs and physical activity, said the study leader. (fp)

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