A new study found that living a sedentary life may actually age a person beyond their years as it can lead to the cells’ increased aging process.
Everyone has heard the saying. An active life is a healthy life. And a new research may have actually proven the common belief.
A team of University of California, San Diego School of Medicine scientists carried out a new research. Their target? To study the effects of a sedentary life. And according to them, this latter results in a faster aging.
Research results were released earlier this week. A paper was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. It was titled as follows. “Associations of Accelerometer-Measured and Self-Reported Sedentary Time With Leukocyte Telomere Length In Older Women”. Aladdin Shadyab was the study’s lead author.
The study involved the participation of over 1,400 women. They were aged in between 64 to 95 years old. An age average was set at around 79 years old.
This analysis was also part of other investigations. U.S.’s national Women’s Health Initiative is also carrying out analyses.
Research for the study was gathered in between 2012 and 2013. The participants’ lifestyle was assessed. And their DNA was also analyzed.
The study involved a questionnaire. This asked questions about the women’s regular activity. And their extent. Or, in contrast, their lack of activity.
And the women also had to wear an accelerometer. This was placed on their hips. And it was worn for straight a week.
An average activity level was determined. But the research also revealed a quite sedentary life. The participants spent an average 8 to 9 hours of full sedentarism.
And this sedentary life also correlated with another result. Most also presented shorter telomeres. These can be found at the end of our chromosomes. And for the participants, they were shorter. And also more degraded. Which also meant that they were potentially aging, or had aged faster.
The tested telomeres revealed a fact. The most sedentary participants were also the oldest. If not necessary by age, at least biologically. An 8 years difference was noted between them and the others.
But this sedentary time could be offset. Even a short, regular activity can have an effect. Women that performed 30 minutes or more of regular activity revealed fewer signs of aging.
The authors noted the following. An anti-inflammatory response could be induced. It could be potentially be helped along by a regular physical activity. An increased antioxidant activity may also help.
Women with a more sedentary life and a lack of regular activity may not be exposed to such anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant responses.
Still, the lead author did point out a fact. Shadyab stated that the study went to show a link. But a definitive proof to link a sedentary life to faster-aging cells has yet to be discovered. As such, more research in the area would be needed.
Further studies could focus more on the causality chain. Still, the current research could be a step in the right direction. Shadyab pointed out the promising results. And he also revealed the fact that the team will try to expand its research. A future study could include both genders.
According to the researchers, telomeres degrade as a person starts getting older. Still, some lifestyle factors can influence this process. Regular physical activity may slow it down. But sedentarism and smoking or drinking may advance it.
Image Source: PublicDomainPictures