HealthDay News — According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, a sedentary lifestyle may accelerate biological aging.

Researchers assessed 1481 older women, aged 64 to 95, who answered questionnaires and wore a device for seven days to track their activity levels.

The team found those who sat most of the day and got little exercise had cells that were biologically older by 8 years than the women’s actual age. 

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Specifically, the researchers found that women who sat for more than 10 hours a day and got less than 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily had shorter telomeres.

“Discussions about the benefits of exercise should start when we are young and physical activity should continue to be part of our daily lives as we get older, even at 80 years old,” lead author Aladdin Shadyab, PhD, from the University of California, San Diego’s School of Medicine, said in a university news release. 

“We found that women who sat longer did not have shorter telomere length if they exercised for at least 30 minutes a day, the national recommended guideline.”


Shadyab AH, et al. “Associations of Accelerometer-Measured and Self-Reported Sedentary Time With Leukocyte Telomere Length in Older Women.” Am J Epidemiol. 2017. 172-184. doi: 10.1093/aje/kww196

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