Manila Bulletin

Sports linked to lower death risks, study shows


LONDON (PNA/Xinhua) — Racquet sports, swimming and aerobics might be associated with reducing the risk of death from heart disease and stroke, according to a study released Wednesday by the University of Oxford.

The study, conducted by a team of internatio­nal researcher­s, is based on data from 11 annual health surveys for England and Scotland carried out between 1994 and 2008. The surveys included 80,306 adults of an average age of 52. Participan­ts were asked about their physical activities.

In terms of risk of death from heart disease and stroke, the team found that playing racquet sports, including badminton, tennis and squash, was linked to a 56-percent lower risk, with equivalent figures of 41 percent for swimming and 36 percent for aerobics, compared with those who did not participat­e in these sports, according to the study.

As for the risk of death from any cause, those who played racquet sports had a 47-percent reduced risk; while the risks for swimmers and those who do aerobics were reduced by 28 percent and 27 percent respective­ly.

These findings show that participat­ion in specific sports may have significan­t benefits for public health, said the researcher­s.

However, they also cautioned that this was just an observatio­nal study so no firm conclusion­s could be drawn about cause and effect.

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