According to one study, women who participate in physical activity for one hour a day are much more likely to reach the age of 90 than those who participate in less than 30 minutes of physical activity.
It is no longer a secret that regular physical activity has a positive impact on life expectancy for both men and women.
However, according to a new scientific study, there are significant gender differences when it comes to life expectancy. Weight and height would thus have a greater influence on life expectancy in women than in men.
Epidemiological researchers at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands came to this conclusion after analyzing a cohort of more than 120,000 men and women from whom data had been collected in 1986. Of the 120,000 participants, 4,161 women and 3,646 men aged 68 to 70 years in 1986 provided information on their daily physical activity, current weight and height, and weight at 20 years of age. The physical activities annotated by the researchers included walking the dog, gardening, crafts, sports or cycling to work. Women and men were divided into several groups:
those who were less than 30 minutes of physical activity per day,
those who made them for 30 and 60 minutes,
those who made it between 60 and 90 minutes
and those who made it 90 minutes or more.
All participants were then followed until age 90 or death.
Verdict: women who survived to 90 years on average taller than others, but also thinner, and had gained less weight than others since the age of 20. No such association was observed in men.
Inequality in the benefits of physical activity on life expectancy
But what is most unexpected is that men and women would obviously not be equal in terms of the benefits of physical activity on life expectancy.
Men who exercised more than 90 minutes a day were 39% more likely to turn 90 than those who did less than 30 minutes. And for them, each additional 30-minute daily physical activity was associated with a 5% increase in the chance of reaching age 90.
But for women, it seems that the optimal threshold for physical activity is around 60 minutes, since this duration of physical activity was associated with the highest chance of reaching age 90. Women who do between 30 and 60 minutes of physical activity per day are 21% more likely to reach the age of 90 than those who do 30 minutes or less.
While the study is based on a large number of individuals, it remains observational, the researchers concluded.