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'Exercise is key to long life'

'Exercise is key to long life'
12th February 2008

The key to having a lengthy life is to exercise regularly, according to new research.

A study conducted at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston revealed that adopting a healthy lifestyle and exercising regularly is three times more important than peoples' genes in improving people's chances of reaching a ripe old age.

Researchers studied almost 2,400 men in an attempt to investigate how to have an "exceptionally long life".

Participants provided data about all aspects of their health including their exercise habits and any conditions they developed.

Approximately 41 per cent of the patients reached the age of 90 and it was found that three quarters of the variation in the human life span is caused by modifiable risk factors such as smoking, diet and exercise.

"Smoking, diabetes, obesity and hypertension significantly reduced the likelihood of a 90-year life span, while regular vigorous exercise substantially improved it," concluded lead researcher, Dr Laurel Yates.

Meanwhile, in related news, research recently conducted at Boston University has suggested that it is easier than expected to live to 100 years old.

Researchers interviewed more than 700 patients who lived to be over a century old.

It was found that a third of participants reached 100 despite suffering from age-related illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

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