By Carl Petersen BPE, BSc.(PT)
Great news for tennis enthusiasts of all ages; recent research indicates that tennis is the best sport for a longer life. In fact, tennis tops the list of sports for longevity with players living an average of 9.7 years longer than their sedentary peers. The increase in age expectancy benefits seen in tennis players is more than 3 times longer than in runners and 6 times longer than gym goers.
Previous research points to the importance that general physical activity plays in staying healthy. There is no doubt that the bursts of high intensity exercise required in tennis improves general fitness benefits. The dynamic flexibility, stability, balance, and coordination required to play improves the general quality of life and also works the heart and lungs. In fact, German research (Fernandez-Fernandez et al., 2010) found hitting aggressive baseline rallies will push your MaxVO2 (aerobic capacity) close to the 80% mark.
This more recent study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceeding (Schnohr et al., 2018) indicates that the social connection in tennis is key to the longevity benefits. Perhaps it’s time to start playing more doubles with people you actually connect with. Enjoy the read and keep Fit to Play™.
Read more on the topic at ABC News : “Tennis tops list of sports for increasing life expectancy” by James Bullen
Carl Petersen is a partner/physiotherapist at City Sports & Physiotherapy Clinic in Vancouver. He is an internationally recognized speaker and has co-authored the book Fit to Play™ Tennis as well as a variety of other training resources with former WTA professional, current coach and exercise model Nina Nittinger based in Davos Switzerland.