Do you want to live longer? Just play tennis!
This is what emerged from a new study in Denmark that was published by the Mayo Clinic.
How the research was conducted
The Copenhagen City Heart Study analyzed 8577 participants for up to 25 years from 1991 and 2017. This was a gap analysis between a sedentary group and people practicing different sport and tennis was the winner.
The gain in terms of life expectancy versus the sedentary group was as follows
tennis, 9.7 years;
badminton, 6.2 years;
soccer, 4.7 years;
cycling, 3.7 years;
swimming, 3.4 years;
jogging, 3.2 years;
calisthenics, 3.1 years;
health club activities, 1.5 years.
Of course, there is also the idea that there are some other factors that explain why tennis players tend to outlive the other athletes. For example, a tennis player is more likely to have a better income of a soccer player (and that helps in terms of life expectancy).
The importance of social interaction
It was also noticed that people practicing sports that encourage interaction such as tennis, soccer, and badminton tend to outlive those who engage in sports with less or no interaction such as cycling, swimming, and jogging. Apparently, connecting with other people has a beneficial and unique psychological and physiological effect that helps longevity.
Other studies confirm that tennis helps longevity
There was another study publicized in 2017 that analyzed the behavior of 80,000 British men and women and the same study confirmed that people that played racket sports tended to outlive those who jogged.
So, time to pick up the racket and have some fun?