New research suggests racquet sports such as tennis, squash, and badminton are the healthiest sports to participate in.
An international study of over 80,000 adults over 30 years of age found that the risk of death from any cause was 47 per cent lower among those who played racquet sports, compared to those that didn’t.
Racquet sport players were also found to be 56 per cent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease (heart disease), which as we know is on the rise as a cause of death in Australia.
Swimming, aerobics, and cycling were also found to offer life-saving benefits, but the study was inconclusive about the benefits of running and football.
— USyd Health Sciences (@USydFHS) November 30, 2016
While the jury is still out on running and football (the researchers need more time track the participants of those activities), the results are in for the other sports:
Risk of premature death from any cause (compared to those that don’t partake in the corresponding sport):
- Racquet Sports (tennis, squash, badminton): 47% lower
- Swimming: 28% lower
- Aerobics: 27% lower
- Cycling: 15% lower
Risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease (compared to those that don’t partake in the corresponding sport):
- Racquet Sports (tennis, squash, badminton): 56% lower
- Swimming: 41% lower
- Aerobics: 36% lower
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) November 30, 2016
This international study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The research was led by the University of Sydney, in collaboration with the University of Oxford, UKK Institute (Finland), University of Edinburgh, and four other international universities.
“Participation in specific sports may have various benefits for health.
“These observations with the existing evidence should support the sport community together with other sectors to design and implement effective health enhancing exercise programs and physical activity in general.”
– (Senior Author, Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, of the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences and School of Public Health)
Australian Sport Participation
An estimated 60% of Australians aged over 15 years old – or 11.1 million people – participate in sport or physical recreation at least once a year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS, 2015).
The top 20 most popular sports/activities for Australians are:
|1||Walking for exercise||3,544,900|
|2||Fitness / Gym||3,214,000|
|3||Jogging / Running||1,363,100|
|4||Swimming / Diving||1,174,800|
|5||Cycling / BMXing||1,151,900|
|7||Tennis (indoor and outdoor)||563,100|
|9||Netball (Indoor and outdoor)||413,800|
|10||Basketball (indoor & outdoor)||406,100|
|12||Football sports (excluding, rugby, soccer, Australian Rules football)||297,700|
|14||Dancing / Ballet||237,200|
|15||Australian Rules football||224,000|
How to get discounts on sportswear and gym memberships through your health insurance
As you’d expect, your health insurer actually wants you to be fit and healthy (because you’ll be less likely to claim).
To encourage members to exercise, many health insurers offer discounts on gym memberships and sportswear products. Some even offer free fitness classes:
Wellness programs that have been specifically recommended by a medical practitioner can also be covered under some extras policies.
Investment Poll: What are Australians investing in
Property, cash, stocks, bonds, arts and antiques… With so many investment options available today, we had to wonder how Australians are building their wealth.
Take this quick poll to find out what are some of the popular investments.