Breaking Research: Skiing, Snowboarding and Mountain Town Living Can Help You Live Longer

Posted By: The Ski Channel on July 30, 2009 1:33 pm

Not really a shocker, but a recent study out of Stanford University found that the least-fit portion of our population has twice the mortality risk of even those who are just a bit more in shape. That means, if you ski, snowboard, or simply live and enjoy the mountain lifestyle, you’ve got a better shot at living longer.

The study, published by the American College of Sports Medicine used exercise tests, and followed more than 4,300 subjects from 1986 to 2006, none of whom had a history of heart disease. Researchers found that the mortality rate for the least-fit individuals was twice that of the second least-fit group, and more than four times the rate of the most-fit group. Fitness was the strongest predictor of mortality.

Nearly two-thirds of the least-fit subjects weren’t getting the recommended amount of physical activity (at least 150 minutes per week, or 30 minutes per day, five days per week). Interestingly, though, this group can achieve the greatest health benefits from increasing fitness.

“Given the considerable survival benefit associated with improving fitness in the least-fit group, increasing fitness through regular physical activity should be a priority,” says Stanford researcher Sandra Mandic, Ph.D. “Health professionals should consider a sedentary lifestyle and poor fitness as treatable and major risk factors.”

Just another excuse to hit the trails.