Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | WELLBEING -

Ex­er­cis­ing for half an hour to an hour a day boosts the chances of liv­ing to 90 by up to a third, a study sug­gests.

Spend­ing that time gar­den­ing, clean­ing the house or do­ing home ren­o­va­tions and re­pairs may also make a long life more likely.

Re­searchers an­a­lysed the height, weight and ac­tiv­ity lev­els of 7807 peo­ple aged 68–70.

They were mon­i­tored un­til they died or un­til they reached 90 – which­ever came first. Some 17 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women lived to 90.

Men who were phys­i­cally ac­tive for 30–60 min­utes a day were 34 per cent more likely to live to 90 than those who were less ac­tive.

The fig­ure for women was 21 per cent, re­searchers at Maas­tricht Uni­ver­sity in the Nether­lands found.

Be­ing ac­tive for more than 90 min­utes a day in­creased men’s odds of liv­ing to 90 to 39 per cent – but women got no ex­tra ben­e­fit from in­creas­ing the amount of ex­er­cise.

Women who were tall, slim and put on less weight as they aged were more likely to live to 90. Women taller than 175cm were 31 per cent more likely to reach 90 than those shorter than 160cm.

But these fac­tors made no dif­fer­ence to fel­las.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween the sexes is thought to be due to hor­mones and life­styles.

Study leader Lloyd Brandts said: “This study in­di­cates body size and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity are re­lated to the like­li­hood of reach­ing 90 years of age and that these as­so­ci­a­tions dif­fer by sex.”

It was pub­lished in Jour­nal of Epi­demi­ol­ogy and Com­mu­nity Health.

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