Exercise More For a Longer, Healthy Life, Says Study
A new study says that our physiological age (how we respond to exercise or physical activities) is a better indicator of our life expectancy.
A new study says that our physiological age (how we respond to exercise or physical activities) is a better indicator of our life expectancy.(Photo: iStockphoto)

Exercise More For a Longer, Healthy Life, Says Study

We have always known our chronological age to be an indicator of our health but it may not be quite so. A new study says that our physiological age (how we respond to exercise or physical activities) is a better indicator of our life expectancy.

For the study, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, looked at 1,26,356 patients with an average of 53.5 years. These patients visited the clinic for their first exercise stress test (this exam commonly diagnoses heart ailments).

The results of the study were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

During their test, the patients walked on a treadmill, whose difficulty kept on rising throughout the test. Their exercise capacity, heart rate response and heart rate recovery was measured all along.

Later, the scientists developed a formula to measure people’s physiological age or A-BEST (Age Based on Exercise Stress Testing) basis the data collected. Gender and medications of patients was also taken into account.

The results showed that ‘after an average follow-up of 8.7 years, the A-BEST was a significantly better predictor of mortality than chronological age’. The researchers took various factors like BMI, sex, diabetes, hypertension etc into account while making their findings.

One of the authors of the study, Dr Serge Harb, said:

Age is one of the most reliable risk factors for death: the older you are, the greater your risk of dying. But we found that physiological health is an even better predictor. If you want to live longer then exercise more. It should improve your health and your length of life.

Dr Harb and his team believed that the results of this study could be used by doctors while explaining the results of exercise testing to patients.

Knowing your physiological age is good motivation to increase your exercise performance, which could translate into improved survival. Telling a 45-year-old that their physiological age is 55 should be a wake-up call that they are losing years of life by being unfit. On the other hand, a 65-year-old with an A-BEST of 50 is likely to live longer than their peers.
Dr Serge Harb

Also Read : Exercise May Protect Against Alzheimer’s: Study

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