If you’re ready to get off the treadmill and hoist a nice, cold beer, you’re in for some good news. Consuming alcohol is better for you than exercise… at least if you’re in your 90s.
A newly-publicized study looked at the habits of Americans in their 90s, the fastest-growing age group in the United States and one which has been the subject of comparatively few studies. The 90+ Study began in 2003 and has examined the lives of over 1,600 people.
The study has many purposes, including determining factors that can contribute to the ability to live to old age, as well as examining dementia, memory loss, and other types of cognitive decline in the elderly and possible methods of preventing those age-related deteriorations.
Among the study’s major findings is that those who drank two glasses of alcohol per day were 18 percent less likely to suffer from premature death, while those who exercised for between 15 and 45 minutes per day were 11 percent less likely to suffer premature death. So drinking alcohol is actually better than exercise for those in their 90s.
Other takeaways from the study include finding that drinking two cups of coffee per day decreased the risk of premature death by 10 percent, while spending two hours a day on a daily hobby decreased the risk by 21 percent. Additionally, those who were overweight in their 70s had a slightly decreased risk of death than those who had been normal weight or underweight in their 70s.
The major drawback to the study is that it was purely an observational study, so there’s no telling how precise the conclusions are. It also only looks at the elderly in the United States, so it’s hard to say whether its findings will translate elsewhere.
Obviously if you’ve made it into your 90s you’ve done something right. Either you have good genes that protect you from things that would have harmed other people, or you’ve adopted good habits that will last you till the end of your life. But if you live that long, now you know that exercise, coffee, and a good hobby can all help extend your life. Oh yes, and enjoy that glass of beer or wine.