Risk Of Death In Older Adults Can Be Lowered By Doing Leisure Activities, Shows Study

Older adults may have a lower risk of death from any cause, as well as death from cardiovascular disease and cancer, if they engage in a variety of leisure activities on a weekly basis, according to a recent study led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

The results, are published in JAMA Network Open, imply that older persons

should take part in leisure activities that they love and can maintain because

many of these activities may reduce their chance of passing away, according to

the authors.

The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study included 272,550 adults between the ages

of 59 and 82 who answered questionnaires about their leisure-time activities.

The researchers examined whether engaging in comparable amounts of seven

different exercise and recreational activities, such as walking, cycling,

swimming, other aerobic exercise, racquet sports, golfing and other forms of

the exercise was linked to a lower risk of dying.

The researchers discovered that compared to not participating in any of these

activities, getting the required amount of physical activity each week through

any combination of these activities were related to a 13% decreased risk of

mortality from any cause.

Racquet sports participation was linked to a 16% risk decrease and running to a 15 per cent reduction when they examined the role of each activity separately. However, lower risks of death were found for all of the assessed activities.

Wi, according to the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for


Even bigger reductions in the risk of death were associated with the amounts

of exercise performed by the most active people (those who went above and

beyond the guidelines for physical activity), although there were diminishing

returns as activity levels rose.

Even those who engaged in some recreational activity, even if it was less than what was advised, had a 5 per cent lower risk of passing away than those who did not engage in any of the activities examined.