Senior Athletes Age Well
Exercise may really be a fountain of youth for bone and joint health. New research on senior athletes suggests that comprehensive fitness and nutrition routines can help to maintain overall physical health and minimize decline in bone and joint health. The research, published in Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), found that being physically active can delay or minimize the effects of aging, and significantly improve musculoskeletal health, as well as overall health. The research involved senior athletes ages 65 and up. "A lot of the deterioration we see with aging can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself," noted lead study author and orthopaedic surgeon Bryan G. Vopat, MD.
Two Years Longer, to Be Exact
Reducing the time Americans spend sitting to fewer than 3 hours/day would increase life expectancy by 2 years, finds a Pennington Biomed. Res. Ctr. study helmed by Peter Katzmarzyk. The research also indicates that reducing the time spent watching TV to fewer than 2 hours would increase life expectancy by 1.4 years. US adults spend about 5 hours/day sitting. The study highlights "sedentary behavior as an important risk factor, similar to smoking and obesity," says Katzmarzyk who analyzed data on 167,000 adults. It looked at the link between sitting and the risk of dying from any cause over the next 4-14 years. His conclusion: about 27% of deaths could be attributed to sitting; 19% to television watching habits. The study is one among a growing number that suggests sitting may be deadly.
As Bad As Smoking?
TV viewing can cause earlier death, say researchers in Australia who found that viewing just one hour of TV after age 25 can shorten the viewer's life by almost 22 minutes. Smoking two cigarettes has about the same effect as watching an hour of TV, reports MSNBC. Scientists at the University of Queensland studied 11,000 Australian adults aged 25 or older in 2000. They checked their data against a 2008 estimate that Australians 25 years and older watched 9.8 billion hours of TV, which was associated with the loss of 286,000 years of life. TV itself isn't harmful, but the negative effect stems from lack of activity for extended periods. TV watching can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, which puts people at risk for diabetes and heart disease, among other problems.
Too Much Television
Teenagers are more likely to spend their weekends in front of a tv screen than engaged in physical activity, finds a study that analyzed the behavior of 3278 adolescents. "A sedentary lifestyle has become one of the major public health problems in developed countries", says Juan P. Rey-López, lead author. "During the week, one-third of teenagers said they watched more than two hours of television per day. At weekends, this figure exceeds 60 percent. Our findings support the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics not to put televisions in teenagers' bedrooms, in order to (theoretically) reduce the amount of time they spend watching the television.” Rey-Lopez agrees to the presence of a computer in a kid’s bedroom saying it reduces the risk of excessive tv watching.
Negative Lifestyle Factors
Teenagers who are overweight, get little exercise or who smoke are 3.4 times more likely to have frequent headaches than those with healthier behaviors, according to research conducted at the University of Oslo in Norway. When factors were taken individually, overweight teens were 40 percent more likely to have frequent headaches and those who exercised less than twice a week were 20 percent more likely. Teens who smoked had 50 percent more headaches than non-smokers. Those with two of the three negative lifestyle factors were 1.8 times more likely to have headaches and 55 percent of those with all three factors had frequent headaches. The study was published in a journal of the American Academy of Neurology.