People who are active healthier than those who just sit around, say two new studies

The revelation that people who are active are healthier than those who aren’t sounds straight from the Onion News Network, but that’s the conclusion from two new studies today. First, as MedPage Today reports, those who are unfit in their late teens and early twenties are two to three times more likely to develop diabetes than those who exercise.

Study author Mercedes Carnethon, PhD, of Northwestern University, said the findings suggested that the “mechanism by which fitness decreases risk for diabetes is through the regulation of body mass.” Or, in other words, exercise helps keep your weight down.

At the other end of the age scale, socially-active seniors are less likely to suffer age-related disability and death than their inactive counterparts. The observational study found significant deceleration in motor function as activity dropped and, as MedPage Today notes,

“The differences between social butterflies and wallflowers were not subtle — for example, people who were more socially active walked faster than those who were not active.”

One might say the study confirms the old saw, “use it or lose it” – but given that  the authors of the study stress “inferences regarding causality must be drawn with great caution,” we’ll go with “use it or possibly lose it.”

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