I’ll be damned… old people sports produce create old people.
According to a study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, certain sports, ones that I would refer to as sports for old people, have been linked with longer life-spans.
The Study (according to the journal):
The questions pertained to their exercise habits, frequency, and sport selection. The researchers questioned over 80,000 random people in Europe and collected data to form a conclusion.
44% of the subjects met the standard recommended amount of exercise. Of those 44%, the type of sport they did to exercise produced varied evidence of longevity in the nine-year study span. Subjects who choose racquet sports as their primary way of exercise have a 47% lower chance of dying during the nine-year period than those who didn’t exercise. Subjects who swim have a 28% lower chance of dying. Subjects who do aerobics have a 27% chance of dying. Football and running did not produce any significant data of a lowering in chance of dying in the nine-year period.
But before you rush to the closest sporting goods shop and invest in some sweet sweatbands and a dope racquet, consider the possible shortcomings of this study.
- As is inherent in a study that uses data based on randomly dispersed questionnaires, some of the data may be inaccurate. However, the sample size may override that issue.
- Correlation does not equal causation, therefore this apparent link must have influencing factors that are separate from the advertised conclusion.
- It would be ridiculous to think that if you start playing racquetball or swimming instead of another equally cardio intensive exercise. People who play racquetball or have access to a pool year-round are typically middle class or higher. This socioeconomic status is linked with higher longevity rates anyways. This brings up the point that the possibility of reverse causation. The subjects (based on their probable status and variables that influence the study results) cause these sports to have higher rates.
- Finally, the study was performed by British, Australian, and probably New Zealand researchers. Don’t let the accents fool you. They are not the most trustworthy people.
The overall takeaway is that although these results support the notion that exercise, in general, can influence longevity, third confounding variables, such as socioeconomic status, nullify the data that indicates that the choice of exercise influences longevity.