“If you want to stave off death for as long as possible, you might want to reach for a tennis racquet,” The Guardian reports.
A study looking at the impact of individual sports on mortality found racquet sports reduced the risk of death by around 47%.
Researchers also found reduced risks of death for people who took part in cycling, swimming and aerobics.
They didn’t find such effects for people who took part in rugby, football or running – although this unexpected finding may be explained by the low number of deaths, which may have skewed the statistics. The smaller the data set, the bigger the chance of the data being influenced by chance.
While the researchers found taking part in some sports reduced the risk of death compared to not taking part, they did not directly compare the benefits of different sports. That means we can’t say which sport is “best” for health.
What is clear from the study is that any sort of regular physical activity is likely to help us stay healthier and live longer.