And 60 minutes of daily physical activity are associated with the best chance of reaching 90 women
Body size – height and weight – can affect women's age much more than men, said the study published online on the Internet Journal of Epidemiology & Public Health.
And while physical activity is associated with a longer life span in both sexes, it seems that the more time men spend physically active every day, the better the chances of reaching old age, while 60 minutes a day is associated with the best opportunities for women. , findings show.
Average life expectancy has increased over the past few decades, but has recently begun to increase in some developed countries, with increasing rates of obesity and lack of physical activity that are considered to be behind the trend.
Previous research has looked at the relationship between body weight (BMI or body mass index), physical activity, and reaching old age, but most studies have combined both sexes, or focused exclusively on men.
The lifespan of women and men is different, which may be influenced by factors such as hormones, genes and / or lifestyle.
To explore this difference further, the researchers analyzed data from the Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS), which included more than 120,000 men and women aged between 55 and 69 when starting in 1986.
They want to see if there is a relationship between height, weight, physical activity free time, and the possibility of reaching age 90, and is there a difference between men and women.
Some 7807 participants (3646 men and 4161 women aged between 68 and 70) gave detailed information in 1986 about their current weight, height, weight at age 20, and physical activity in their leisure time.
These include activities such as gardening, dog walking, DIY (home improvement), walking or cycling to work, and recreational sports, which are grouped into daily quota categories: less than 30 minutes; 30 to 60 minutes; and 90 minutes or more.
Participants are then monitored to death or age 90, whichever comes first.
The researchers considered potential influential factors, such as whether participants were active or former smokers, how much they drank, their educational attainments, and usual energy intake.
About 433 men (16.7%) and 944 women (34.4%) survived until the age of 90 years.
Women who are still alive at this age, have a higher average, have less weight at the start of the study, and have gained weight since the age of 20 compared to those who are shorter and heavier.
What's more, women who are over 175 cm (5 feet 9 inches) are 31 percent more likely to reach 90 than women less than 160 cm (5 feet 3 inches).
There is no such association seen among men.
And when it comes to physical activity levels, men who recorded more than 90 minutes a day were 39 percent more likely to reach 90 than those who did less than 30 minutes.
And every 30 minutes additional daily physical activity they do is associated with a 5 percent increase in their chances of reaching 90.
But this does not apply to women. Those who recorded more than 30-60 minutes a day, 21 percent more likely to reach 90 than those who manage 30 minutes or less.
But there seems to be an optimal threshold for women: about 60 minutes a day is associated with the best chance to celebrate the 90th birthday.
This is observational research, and therefore cannot prove the cause. And information about body size and physical activity is more voluntary than objectively measured, which might influence the results, the researchers said.
But these findings are based on a large number of people, all of whom have the same age, which strengthens the results, they point out, adding that their study is one of the few to distinguish lifestyle factors that have the potential to be associated with longevity between men. and woman.
There may not be a relationship between body size and reaching old age in men, the researchers said. But the behavior and history of the disease seems to influence the association found, and there are differences between smokers and nonsmokers.