In fact, a 2018 study published in Circulation offered clues about how we can affect our own lifespan, including lifestyle factors that can help prevent premature death. These low risk factors were found to increase life expectancy by 14 years for women who inherited all five factors. The few data available on life expectancy in athletes who were much more physically active than the average individual are inconclusive. All studies showed an increase in life expectancy in endurance athletes, ranging from another 2.8 to 8.0 years. This gain is likely greater than that found for people engaged in vigorous physical activity in cohort studies. In team sports and other sports disciplines, life expectancy may be below or above that of control groups.
The benefit of exercise was seen regardless of people’s weight, age, gender and health problems, such as heart disease and cancer. Regular exercise reduces the risk of and/or improves many diseases and conditions, including high blood pressure, Epigenetic Testing type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, obesity, coronary heart disease, chronic heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In addition, the risk of colon, breast and possibly endometrial, lung and pancreatic cancer is reduced.
The study authors also note that high levels of physical activity do not counteract the negative health effects of a poor diet. The researchers examined the study participants once at the beginning of the study and then three more times until 2004. At this stage of the study, Mok and his team looked at lifestyle and risk factors such as diet, alcohol intake and smoking, as well as measures such as age, height, weight and blood pressure.
Bus drivers were found to have a lower risk of coronary heart disease compared to drivers, suggesting that occupational physical activity may reduce coronary heart disease in middle-aged men. A follow-up study later showed that the most obese men preferred to become drivers in recruitment. Differences in baseline adiposity in driver/driver populations may have contributed to the difference in the risk of coronary heart disease, regardless of physical activity levels.
Only one study presented data on strength sports and reported a slightly longer life expectancy compared to that of normal physical activity. None of these studies took into account confounding factors that could affect life expectancy. People who did 60 to 149 minutes of light to moderate exercise per week had a 22% lower risk of premature death than sedentary people, and those who were given 150 to 299 minutes had a 31% lower risk. Performing 300 to 449 minutes of light to moderate physical activity per week was associated with a 33% lower risk of dying during the study period. While higher levels of activity were associated with even longer life expectancy, moderate activity was beneficial, according to the study of people ages 40 and older.