Lifting weights regularly could reduce risk of early death, study finds Science and technology news


According to a study, lifting weights regularly could reduce the risk of early death.

A combination of “iron pumps” and aerobic exercise each week yielded the most benefits, the researchers said.

Scientists at the US National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, examined data from nearly 100,000 adults who took part in a US screening study.

Participants, who had an average age of 71 years, provided information about their weightlifting activity and other exercises they participated in.

About 23% said they lifted weight, and 16% said they regularly lifted weight at least 1 to 6 times a week.

Almost a third (32%) were rated “active enough” by researchers, with 24% meeting guidelines for aerobic activity and 8% exceeding them.

During a follow-up period of 9.6 years, 28,477 of the participants died.

The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that adults who reported lifting weight had a 9% lower risk of ‘all-cause mortality’.

A similar observation was found for heart disease deaths, but no association was found between weightlifting and cancer deaths.

It found that those who participated in “regular” weightlifting had a 14% lower risk of death, while those who achieved the aerobic activity levels had a 32% lower risk of death.

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Adults who reported meeting guidelines for aerobic activity and lifting weights at least once or twice a week had a 41 to 47% reduced risk of death during the study period.

“Weight lifting in older adults was independently associated with lower all-cause mortality and lower mortality from cardiovascular disease,” the authors wrote.

“Among adults who did not report aerobic MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity), all weight lifting was associated with a 9-22% lower all-cause mortality.

“Lower all-cause mortality was observed in older adults who did either aerobic or weight-lifting exercise, but the lowest risk of mortality was observed in adults who reported both types of exercise.

“The mortality benefit associated with weightlifting demonstrated here provides physicians and other healthcare professionals with the first evidence that older adults would likely benefit from adding weightlifting exercise to their physical activity routines.”

Adults are recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week.

They are also encouraged to do “strengthening exercises” that work the legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders and arms at least two days a week.

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