Too Much Sit­ting, Too Lit­tle Ex­er­cise May Ac­cel­er­ate Bi­o­log­i­cal Ag­ing

Wellness Update - - Now -

- Re­searchers at Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Diego School of Medicine re­port that el­derly women who sit for more than 10 hours a day with low phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity have cells that are bi­o­log­i­cally older by eight years com­pared to women who are less seden­tary. The study found el­derly women with less than 40 min­utes of mod­er­ate-to-vig­or­ous phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity per day and who re­main seden­tary for more than 10 hours per day have shorter telom­eres — tiny caps found on the ends of DNA strands, like the plas­tic tips of shoelaces, that pro­tect chro­mo­somes from de­te­ri­o­ra­tion and pro­gres­sively shorten with age. Sit­ting and low phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity may ac­cel­er­ate ag­ing in older women. As a cell ages, its telom­eres nat­u­rally shorten and fray, but health and life­style fac­tors, such as obe­sity and smok­ing, may ac­cel­er­ate that process. Short­ened telom­eres are as­so­ci­ated with car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, di­a­betes and ma­jor can­cers. “Our study found cells age faster with a seden­tary life­style. Chrono­log­i­cal age doesn’t al­ways match bi­o­log­i­cal age,” said Aladdin Shadyab, PhD, lead au­thor of the study with the Depart­ment of Fam­ily Medicine and Pub­lic Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Shadyab and his re­search team be­lieve they are the rst to ob­jec­tively mea­sure how the com­bi­na­tion of seden­tary time and ex­er­cise can im­pact the ag­ing biomarker. Nearly 1,500 women, ages 64 to 95, par­tic­i­pated in the study. The women are part of the larger Women’s Health Ini­tia­tive (WHI), a na­tional, lon­gi­tu­di­nal study in­ves­ti­gat­ing the deter­mi­nants of chronic dis­eases in post­menopausal women. The par­tic­i­pants com­pleted ques­tion­naires and wore an ac­celerom­e­ter on their right hip for seven con­sec­u­tive days dur­ing wak­ing and sleep­ing hours to track their move­ments. “We found that women who sat longer did not have shorter telom­ere length if they ex­er­cised for at least 30 min­utes a day, the na­tional rec­om­mended guide­line,” said Shadyab. “Dis­cus­sions about the bene ts of ex­er­cise should start when we are young, and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity should con­tinue to be part of our daily lives as we get older, even at 80 years old.” Shadyab said fu­ture stud­ies will ex­am­ine how ex­er­cise re­lates to telom­ere length in younger pop­u­la­tions and in men.

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