Bait news for tennis players: longevity of Wimbledon champions suggests play is key to living longer

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Ace news for tennis players: Longevity of Wimbledon champions suggests the game is key to living longer, studies show

  • Longevity of Sporting Legends study claims male athletes live 13 percent longer
  • Research, which begins June 10, indicates a survival rate of 96 percent of the 45 elite players who have competed in the Wimbledon final since 1960.
  • Study based on analysis of birth and death registers of 752 prominent athletes
  • Calculated based on lifespan for the population, top athletes born in the same year

The longevity of Wimbledon champions suggests that the game is key to living longer, a new study has revealed.

The Longevity of Sporting Legends report, to be launched on June 10, reveals that elite male tennis players live 13 percent longer than the average person of their age and gender.

The research points to the astonishing 96 percent survival rate of the 45 sports stars who have contested the Wimbledon final since 1960 – only two have died.

If tennis players had lived the same number of years as an average man, more than a third of that number would have died by now.

Longevity of Wimbledon Champions Suggests Game Is Key to Living Longer, New Study Has Revealed

Longevity of Wimbledon Champions Suggests Game Is Key to Living Longer, New Study Has Revealed

Among a raft of 90-something former tennis players is 97-year-old Vic Seixas, the oldest surviving grand slam champion, and Budge Patty, are six months his junior.

Elite tennis players are expected to live ten years longer than their laymen, according to the study.

It’s good news for 39-year-old Roger Federer, among others, who will compete for a record ninth grand slam trophy in the summer.

If tennis stars had lived the same number of years as an average man, more than a third of that number, like 97-year-old Vic Seixas, would have died by now.

It's good news for 39-year-old Roger Federer, among others, who will compete in the summer for a record ninth Grand Slam trophy.

If tennis stars had lived the same number of years as an average man, more than a third of the 45 surviving Wimbledon finalists, such as 97-year-old Vic Seixas (left), would have died. It’s good news for the likes of 39-year-old Roger Federer, (right), who will compete for a record-breaking ninth Grand Slam trophy this summer.

How long will elite athletes live?

Tennis – 10 years

Badminton – Six years

Football – Almost five years

Cycling – Almost four years

Swimmers, joggers, and strength trainers – Nearly four years

Health club activities – Less than two years

Stars of several other sports – rugby, cricket, golf, horse racing, football – can also expect a longer lifespan compared to their contemporaries.

An exception, however, was boxing – a sport known for its head injuries.

Head of Global Investigation at the International Longevity Center UK Les Mayhew said the investigation was based on analysis of birth and death records of 752 prominent athletes, The Sunday Times reported.

Records for Wimbledon singles finalists; captains of football, rugby and cricket; Winners of the Open Golf Championship; heavyweight boxing champions; and Epsom Derby winning jockeys were all examined in the report.

Neither female athletes nor sports such as snooker and darts were examined for the report due to partial records.

Mayhew made adjustments to account for the difference in medicine and science between the earliest records, from the Victorian era and the present.

He calculated life expectancy based on life expectancy for the general population and elite athletes born in the same year.

Former elite athletes Brendan Foster, Alan Smith and Baroness Gray-Thompson will speak at the report’s June 10 launch.

It follows from a Danish study that made similar differences between people who did and did not exercise regularly.

It follows from a Danish study that made similar differences between people who did and did not exercise regularly

It follows from a Danish study that made similar differences between people who did and did not exercise regularly

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