Excessive physical activity at a certain age can harm, not improve health, Dutch scientists have found out.

Women aged 60 years and older are recommended to exercise no more than an hour a day. But with men, the situation is the opposite – the more time they spend on sports, the better.

About eight thousand people of both sexes took part in the corresponding study. Employees of the Maastricht University monitored their condition for 22 years.

Ninety years of age reached 17% of men and 34% of women. Scientists estimated the level of activity of the participants, taking into account not only sports, but also gardening, dog walking, cycling and other activities.

It turned out that active men have the highest chances of longevity. Those who trained at least half an hour a day, lived to 90 years more by 34% more often, an hour and a half of exercise increased the probability of celebrating an anniversary by 39%.

With women, everything was more difficult. The best indicators were those who gave no more than 60 minutes to various physical activities – they reached 90 years, 21% more often. But with longer activity, the chances of longevity even began to decline.

Scientists could not explain this pattern, but suggested that hormones, pregnancy and childbirth, genetics and lifestyle can play a role.

Also, researchers found that tall women (above 175 cm) are 31% more likely to reach old age than miniature ones.

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