Research Alert

Scientists have consistently found that exercise is good for health and helps humans live longer. As a diverse society, Americans partake in many different types of exercise from walking to running, basketball, swimming and so on. It is unclear if there are different benefits for longevity in different forms of exercise. Researchers from the Global Sports Institute at Arizona State University asked: what exercises do people who live the longest do? The researchers used a nationally representative sample of 26,727 Americans who were interviewed in 1998 and followed for life / until the end of 2015 (4,955 deaths occurred). They found that any exercise was good for longevity, yet there were some differences in the benefits of different types of exercise. Walking, running, aerobics, stretching, weight lifting and stair climbing were all associated with living longer lives, even after statistically controlling for demographic characteristics, socioeconomic characteristics, health behaviors and bassline health. When controlled for all exercise types, they found that stretching in particular was good. Exercise, stretching and engagement in sports should be foundational in promoting longevity.