Research finds women with low physical activity are biologically eight years older than their counterparts

A new study carried by the researchers of California Sandiego school of medicine found that cells of elderly women who sit for more than 10 hours a day and adapted to a sedentary lifestyle with low physical activity are biologically eight years older when compared with women with more physical activity. The researchers established a relationship between telomere length and physical activity.


Research finds women with low physical activity are biologically eight years older than their counterparts

What are telomeres?

Telomeres are the caps found on the ends of DNA strands and are involved in protecting the chromosomes from degradation and shortening. The length of the chromosomes is related to the aging process. As human beings age, their chromosomes are gradually shortened. Shortened chromosomes are responsible for many age-related diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancers. Some of the lifestyle activities like smoking and obesity are associated with shortening of chromosomes and thereby accelerates the process of aging.

Research study

The research was led by Aladdin shadyab, Ph.D. lead author of the study with Department of family medicine and public health at UC SanDiego school of medicine. About 1500 women with ages spanning between 74 and 95 years participated in the study.The women are a part of Women Health initiative (WHI) which was started by National Institute of health (NIH) in 1991 that is involved in understanding the major health issues that are responsible for death in postmenopausal women. The participants were given questionnaires and also asked to wear an accelerometer in the right hip for seven consecutive days to track their movements during walking and sleeping hours.

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The outcome of the research revealed pretty interesting facts. The researchers found that women who sat for longer periods did not have shorter telomere length if they exercised for 30 minutes a day. According to shadab, the current study reveals cells age faster with sedentary lifestyles and chronological age(the number of years a person has lived)  does not always correlate with biological age(age based on biomarkers).

The results of the study are published in American Journal of epidemiology.

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