This Is Why Serena Williams Could Live Forever
Turns out tennis will make you live longer.
Depending on which side of the net you fall, you either love or hate Serena Williams right now. But you know what? She probably cares very little about what you think.
You see, new science research done in Copenhagen suggests that tennis players can live 9.7 years longer than sedentary folk -- so that champion right there could outlive us all, buddy!
The research, recently published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, suggests that playing social sports, like tennis, has the potential to add years to your life.
The study analysed data -- collected over a period of at least 25 years -- on the physical activity of over 8,500 Danish men and women. They then cross-referenced that data with the national death registry to gain insight into what activities could be associated with a longer life span.
The study found that adults who reported frequently participating in tennis or other racket and team sports -- even badminton -- lived longer than people who were sedentary. But they also lived longer than people who took part in healthy but often more solo activities such as jogging, swimming and cycling.
In fact, according to the study, this is the number of years you stand to gain by participating in the following activities:
Running: 3.2 years
Cycling: 3.7 years
Soccer: 5 years
Badminton: 6.2 years
Tennis: 9.7 years
And this isn't the first time this has come up either -- a study published in the UK last year suggests that racquet sports are the way to go if you want to stay fitter -- the study of over 80,000 Brits showed they lived longer if they did those sports rather than jogging, for instance.
Multiple studies have pinpointed links between regular exercise and longer lives in men and women -- and this one was no different. The most obvious finding -- funnily enough -- was that people who had reported almost never exercising were more likely than the active to have died in the decades since the study began.
The results that say tennis rules, of course raise interesting questions about the role that the social aspect may play when it comes to getting the most benefits out of exercise.
Study co-author Dr. James O’Keefe suspects that the social aspects of racket games and other team sports are a primary reason that they seem to lengthen lives.
“We know from other research that social support provides stress mitigation,” he told The New York Times.
“So being with other people, playing and interacting with them, as you do when you play games that require a partner or a team, probably has unique psychological and physiological effects,” he continued.
It remains possible, he added, that people who are rich enough and have time enough to play tennis live longer because they have money and leisure time and therefore aren't so stressed, not because they play tennis at all -- don't listen to him Serena -- but he recommended finding a group or partner to work out with anyway.
“Raising your heart rate is important,” he told the Times. “But it looks like connecting with other people is, too.”
Feature Image: Getty