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Sedentary Behavior May Lead to Shorter Telomeres in Women

Cells of elderly women who sit most of the day look much older than their actual age

older woman

THURSDAY, Jan. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A sedentary lifestyle may accelerate biological aging, according to a study published online Jan. 18 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Researchers assessed 1,481 older women, aged 64 to 95, who answered questionnaires and wore a device for seven days to track their activity levels.

The team found those who sat most of the day and got little exercise had cells that were biologically older by eight years than the women's actual age. Specifically, the researchers found that women who sat for more than 10 hours a day and got less than 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily had shorter telomeres.

"Discussions about the benefits of exercise should start when we are young, and physical activity should continue to be part of our daily lives as we get older, even at 80 years old," lead author Aladdin Shadyab, Ph.D., from the University of California, San Diego's School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "We found that women who sat longer did not have shorter telomere length if they exercised for at least 30 minutes a day, the national recommended guideline."

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