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Physical Activity Slows Biological Aging

Key Message

A low amount of physical activity appeared to create a biological age gap of eight years between those women who exercised and those that did not.


Shadyab, Aladdin H. et al. (2017). Associations of Accelerometer-Measured and Self-Reported Sedentary Time With Leukocyte Telomere Length in Older Women. American Journal of Epidemiology. 172-184. DOI:


Researchers evaluated the link between leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and sedentary time in 1,481 older women, who were either white or African-American, from the Women's Health Initiative - a cross-sectional, longitudinal study from 2012-2013, which examined the factors that determine chronic diseases in postmenopausal women. The women were, on average, 79 years old.


In a model adjusting for demographic characteristics, lifestyle behaviors, and health-related factors, among women at or below the median level of accelerometer-measured MVPA, those in the highest quartile of accelerometer-measured sedentary time had significantly shorter LTL than those in the lowest quartile, with an average difference of 170 base pairs (95% confidence interval: 4, 340). Accelerometer-measured sedentary time was not associated with LTL in women above the median level of MVPA. Findings suggest that, on the basis of accelerometer measurements, higher sedentary time may be associated with shorter LTL among less physically active women.

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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