Researchers: No evidence exercise lengthens life
Rahvusvahelised uudised 21 Dec 2015  EWR
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yle.fi 21.12.2015
Exercising will not make you live longer, according to new research from Jyväskylä University. Researchers found that exercise in adults does not lengthen lifespans for humans or for laboratory animals.

Contrary to previous research results and commonly-held opinion, exercising regularly does not mean you’re going to live longer. That’s according to researchers at Jyväskylä University, who found that lifespan was primarily affected by genetic factors rather than exercise levels.

The research was conducted using data from Finland’s twin study, which allows scientists to compare subjects with the same genetic background but different life choices and environmental factors.

Although researchers have previously found a link between cardiovascular fitness and lower mortality, the ”Physical activity in adulthood: Genes and mortality” study found that lab rats that increased their fitness did not live any longer than their lazier peers, but rather their genetic inheritance was more important in determining lifespan.

Better fitness, shorter lives

Rats genetically predisposed to lower cardiovascular fitness who started to exercise as adults actually shortened their lives by an average of 16 percent compared to those with similar genes who did not exercise.

The Jyväskylä study also looked at data from identical twins with divergent levels of physical activity.

"We find no evidence for the suggested association using pairwise analysis among monozygotic twin pairs who are discordant in their physical activity levels," read the abstract.

Researchers did point out that those rats that started to train did raise their aerobic fitness and lower risk of metabolic disease. Therefore exercise does have a positive effect on fitness and health, if not lifespan.

Researchers will now look to study whether the results of exercise could be different if regular physical activity starts at a younger age.
 
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