People who played tennis, badminton or football tended to live longer than those who cycled, swam or jogged.
Playing tennis and other sports that are social might add years to your life, according to a new epidemiological study of Danish men and women.
The study found that adults who reported frequently participating in tennis or other racket and team sports lived longer than people who were sedentary. But they also lived longer than people who took part in reliably healthy but often solitary activities such as jogging, swimming and cycling.
Of those participating, 5674 (84.5%) reported involvement in one of the eight physical activities for an average of nearly 7 hours per week. The remaining 1042 (15.5%) said they were sedentary. The active group was younger and more likely to have a university degree than the sedentary cohort.
By the end of the study, 4448 of the subjects had died. The investigators adjusted for multiple variables, including age, sex, weekly amount of exercise, smoking, education, income, alcohol drinking, diabetes, social network, and education.
Compared to the sedentary participants, subjects who played tennis lived an average of 9.7 years longer. Jogging, swimming, and cycling resulted in 3.2, 3.4, and 3.7 extra years of life respectively. Even badminton at 6.2 added years of life, was better than the more intense sports.
One widely published trial (bjsm.bmj.com) in the British Medical Journal of more than 80,000 British men and women found that those who played racket sports tended to outlive those who jogged too.
So the next time your doubles partner misses an easy lob, stop the negative thoughts and thank them for inviting you to play. It might just have prolonged your life!!