New Study Finds Muscular Boys Live Longer

By: Jase Peeples
12.11.2012

According to a recent Swedish study, boys who are physically strong between the ages of 16 and 19 are more likely to live longer than their less-fit counterparts, even if they become unhealthy adults later in life.

The study, which tracked one million young men over a period of 24 years, used a number of exercises – such as push-ups and leg curls – to determine the strength level of each adolescent and found that those teens who scored above-average muscle strength reduced their risk of an early death by 20% - 35%.

Even when risk factors such as high blood pressure and obesity were taken into account, the data revealed the link between muscle strength during those seminal teen years and an early death remained the same.

Of the one million subjects tracked, 26, 145 died over the course of the study with the leading causes of death being cancer, heart disease, stroke, suicide, and accidental injury. However, the study’s data not only revealed that the stronger young men were less likely to die from these ailments, but were also 65% less likely to have mental health issues, such as depression, later in life as well.

Also, strong adolescents over the course of the study had 20% - 30% lower risk of suicide than those who were physically weaker.

Those young men who scored the lowest in terms of muscular strength at the beginning of the study were at the highest risk of dying before reaching middle age.

While the study provides plenty of evidence that discovering the gym at an early age can benefit more than your vanity, the researchers were quick to point out that building muscle doesn’t necessarily lead to a longer life, but that muscular strength may instead be a great indicator of one’s fitness level overall.

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