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Gil
July 11th, 2009, 03:02 PM
Source: July/August 2009 issue of AARP magazine.

Findings: 40,000 men followed for 32 years. During that time swimmers had a 50% lower death rate than all others. Conclusion: Keep swimming!!

ddl
July 11th, 2009, 04:51 PM
Do we need to be told that? :rolleyes:

What happened to the women? :confused:

Bobinator
July 11th, 2009, 06:12 PM
That's good to know. I figure it's probably about the same ratio if not more for women.

Lui
July 11th, 2009, 06:42 PM
Source: July/August 2009 issue of AARP magazine.

Findings: 40,000 men followed for 32 years. During that time swimmers had a 50% lower death rate than all others. Conclusion: Keep swimming!!

Wow, 50% is alot.

gigi
July 11th, 2009, 07:59 PM
I'm not at all surprised...and that magazine has a huge readership - I wonder if this news will swell the ranks of the 50plus age groups. That would be great, but frankly, I don't need MORE competition!

djacks
July 12th, 2009, 08:00 AM
I'm not at all surprised...and that magazine has a huge readership - I wonder if this news will swell the ranks of the 50plus age groups. That would be great, but frankly, I don't need MORE competition!

Invasion of the Noodler Hordes...:cane:

scyfreestyler
July 12th, 2009, 11:14 AM
Devil's advocate here, but is it not possible that those who swim might also lead a generally more active lifestyle? Might they also pay more attention to their diet? I'm not suggesting that swimming is not good for one's health, certainly it is, but I don't think it's a magic bullet in and of itself.

ViveBene
July 12th, 2009, 11:45 AM
From the division of "Pete's Sake!"

"As if you needed another excuse to hit the pool this summer, new research shows that swimmers live longer than walkers and runners. And not just a little bit longer, either. In a study of more than 40,000 men ages 20 to 90 who were followed for 32 years, swimmers were 50 percent less likely to die during the study period than were walkers or runners."

Here is the article link (oddly, the article is illustrated with a photo of an apparently youngish woman in the pool. Edit: looks like she is the author-editor of the piece):

http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/lap_it_up.html

Now to find the original study. I am interested in how a 90-y-o man could be followed up for 32 years.

There is a large U.S. Institutes of Health-AARP joint study on exercise, obesity, and mortality in a large sample of men and women combined that has recent (June 2009) citations online.

ddl
July 12th, 2009, 02:44 PM
Actually that article doesn't add much what we have already known. Has there been any comparative study of swimming and cycling?

ViveBene
July 12th, 2009, 09:40 PM
Ice dancing, that's the ticket. It's weightbearing and you can do it into 80s; I used to enjoy watching the active senior couples at noon skate waltzing.
Swimming can be done after the knees quit and the ankles quit; it can be done with any variety of orthopedic limitations, which makes it good for nonagenarians. I expect that contributed something to the AARP results.
There is a huge actuarial mortality spike at 85. Huge. Empire State Bldg size class. Those who make it past 85 (begin speculation) are less likely to continue running but can go on swimming. So data are in part artifactual. (In other words, it isn't swimming that gives you a longer life but your longer life that forces you to give up running and take up swimming - and also keeps you in the data pool to be measured.)
Goodness, who cares.
:)

tygrr94
July 12th, 2009, 10:32 PM
I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that swimming is practically no-impact so there is less wear-and-tear on your body? Less injury or injury to fewer parts, etc?

ddl
July 13th, 2009, 12:44 AM
Now to find the original study. I am interested in how a 90-y-o man could be followed up for 32 years.


Good observation. :) Perhaps backtracked for 32 years :D

It would be interesting to know which type of swimmers live longer: the fitness type, or the competitive :confused:

Chris Stevenson
July 13th, 2009, 09:19 AM
It would be interesting to know which type of swimmers live longer: the fitness type, or the competitive :confused:

That's a good question. Unfortunately I don't have the reference, but several weeks ago I saw a study that showed greater benefits for high-intensity exercise (eg interval training) compared to the same volume of exercise at lower intensities (eg, continuous exrecise in the so-called "fat burning" HR zone). When I get some time maybe I can chase down the reference.

BUT...for practical purposes what I would say is, whatever type of training/exercise is likely to keep you engaged in it on a long-term basis is the best type to do.

Maui Mike
July 13th, 2009, 09:24 AM
But will the records recorded showing the benefits of swimming be tainted by the use of tech suits?:chug:

smontanaro
July 13th, 2009, 09:53 AM
Some links:

Presentation (http://www.nspf.org/Documents/HealthBenefits/BlairPresentation_ShortVersion.pdf) to World Aquatic Health Conference

Press Release (http://www.nspf.org/Documents/Press_Releases/PR_Blair.pdf) by National Swimming Pools Foundation

Swimosaur
July 13th, 2009, 01:11 PM
Now to find the original study ...

Original citation appears to be,

NL Chase, X Sui, SN Blair, "Swimming and all-cause mortality risk compared with running, walking, and sedentary habits in men." International Journal of Aquatics Research and Education, 2:213-23, 2008.

Link here (http://hk.humankinetics.com/IJARE/viewarticle.cfm?jid=Xx63ufuHXw78xj3LXz28b87WXq33aZ vRXr27sAm3Xt86n&view=art&aid=16059&site=Xx63ufuHXw78xj3LXz28b87WXq33aZvRXr27sAm3Xt86n ).

Abstract

Swimming, water jogging, and aqua aerobics are lifetime physical activities that provide many health benefits comparable to those of walking and running. Research on the association between swimming and mortality is scarce, however. To evaluate the association between different types of physical activity and all-cause mortality, we studied 40,547 men age 2090 years who completed a health examination during 19712003. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to estimate the relative risks according to physical activity exposure categories. A total of 3,386 deaths occurred during 543,330 man-years of observation. After adjustment for age, body-mass index, smoking status, alcohol intake, and family history of cardiovascular disease, swimmers had 53%, 50%, and 49% lower all-cause mortality risk than did men who were sedentary, walkers, or runners, respectively (p < .05 for each). Additional adjustment for baseline prevalent diseases did not change the inverse association between different activities and all-cause mortality. In conclusion, swimmers had lower mortality rates than those who were sedentary, walkers, and runners.

Mirabella
July 13th, 2009, 01:57 PM
Can't find the original article in PubMed (very odd since it is a 2008 study) but I would have to ask if they measured the exposure (activity) only one time or several times over the analysis period. Someone may have been measured in 1982 and said yes I am a runner, swimmer, etc and may have quit the activity the next year yet infer that activity is related to outcome (mortality). This would be misclassification bias which usually underestimates the outcome. Can't make conclusions without seeing all the methods for analysis.

jim thornton
July 13th, 2009, 02:39 PM
The study, which was done by Steven Blair and his colleagues at the University of South Carolina, used ongoing data from many decades accumulated at the Cooper Center for Aerobics Research. The demographics were probably reasonably similar to USMS male swimmers--generally reasonably affluent people who went to the Dallas center for executive health consultations and the like.

I interviewed Dr. Blair about this study for an article on swimming that recently came out in Men's Health (if you are interested, send me an email and I will send you back a .pdf of my story: jamesthornton1@comcast.net )

Dr. Blair told me he was not willing to go out on a limb and say that swimming is better for you than running, but I personally suspect that ongoing research may find this is, in fact, the case. If so, the various hypotheses I personally came up with to explain the superiority of swimming (and please remember, these are only conjectures on my part and may well be proved false or red herrings) include the following:



lower injury rate leads to more consistent training (probably some validity here)
the inclusion of highly vigorous sets (most distance runners don't do much if any sprinting at all, whereas most masters swimmers often do these)
a full body workout as opposed to mainly the legs in running workouts
exercise in a horizontal position may have some differential effects on heart beating, blood pressure effects, etc.--admittedly kind of muddled, but swimmers don't need to work against gravity, which could have some as yet unexplained benefit
exercise in a cooler environment (running, even in moderate weather, generates tremendous body heat; swimming probably does, too, but the water helps remove this more quickly than the air, perhaps allowing us to spend more energy of actual muscles as opposed to heat dissipation
I am sure there are other possibilities, too, and again, swimming superiority over other sports has not been proven by this one study, partly because the number of swimmers was relatively small compared to the runners, walkers, and sedentary subjects. Still, it is intriguing, and other research by Joel Stager, Ph.D., (a masters swimmer himself) would indicate there are definite benefits to swimming that may be unique to the sport. Again, please feel free to email me for a copy of my article. I looked on the MH website, but the piece hasn't been posted there yet, at least I couldn't find it.