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Longer Sedentary Time May Lead to Biologically Older Cells

Being sedentary for long periods of time daily may make us age faster. A recent study suggests that mature people who sit for long periods and have low physical activity may have biologically older cells than those who are more active.


Participants in the study included 1,500 women between the ages of 64 and 95 who took part in the Women’s Health Initiative. All of the participants completed questionnaires and wore an accelerometer on their right hips for seven consecutive days to track their movements.


Women who had less than 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily and who were sedentary for more than 10 hours were found to have shorter telomeres than those who were more active. Telomeres are the “caps” on the end of DNA that naturally wear down with age.


The researchers also found that certain lifestyle factors, such as obesity and smoking, can lead to more rapid damage of telomeres. Shortened telemores are associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers.


Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, conducted the study. It was published on February 1, 2017, in the American Journal of Epidemiology.


Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. Previous clinical studies suggest that even moderate exercise may help with blood sugar control, reduce body weight, improve heart health, improve respiratory health and reduce your risk of dying prematurely.

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