Research has looked into how height, weight and exercise influence women’s lifespans in comparison to men’s…

Although height is not something you can change, you have control over how much exercise you do. And the good news is that 60 minutes of daily physical activity could help you reach 90. According to the research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, exercise is linked to longer lifespans in men and women.

0ver 120 000 men and women studied

Researchers analysed data from the Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS), which included more than 120 000 men and women aged between 55 and 69 when it began in 1986. Some 433 men (16,7%) and 944 women (34,4%) survived to the age of 90.

Taller, active women live longer

Women who were still alive by 90 were, on average taller, had weighed less at the start of the study, and had put on less weight since the age of 20 than those who were shorter and heavier. What’s more, women who were more than 175 cm in height were 31 per cent more likely to reach 90 than women less than 160 cm. No such associations were seen among the men.

The optimal amount of exercise

Men who clocked up over 90 minutes of physical activity a day were 39 per cent more likely to reach 90 than those who did less than 30 minutes. And every extra 30 minutes of daily physical activity they racked up was associated with a five per cent increase in their chances of turning 90.

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But this wasn’t the case for women. Those who chalked up more than 30-60 minutes a day were 21 per cent more likely to reach 90 than those managing 30 minutes or less.

However, there seemed to be an optimal threshold for women: around 60 minutes a day was associated with the best chance of their celebrating their 90th birthday

Source: BMJ via

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