Women Are More Likely to Live to 90 if They Do This

Remember your bodyweight at age 20? That's your new benchmark.

woman man weight loss

Bad news, ladies. It's annoying enough that men lose weight faster than women, and that women are still scrutinized for their appearance much more than their male counterparts. But now, a new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that a woman's lifespan is more directly influenced by her BMI (body mass index) than a man's is.

Researchers analyzed data from the Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS), which included more than 120,000 men and women aged between 55 and 69, and found that women who made it to the age of 90 were the ones who had put on less weight since the age of 20. (The same wasn't true for men.) Oh, and those women were also taller. Women who were taller than 5' 9" were "31 percent more likely to reach 90 than women less than 5'3"," said the study.

Though women didn't seem to reap the same benefits of exercise for longevity that men do—men who completed 90 minutes of physical activity per day were 39 percent more likely to reach 90 than those who did less than 30 minutes, while women who did the same thing were only 21 percent more likely to reach the same age—the study pinpointed an important exercise "threshold" for women: one hour a day.

"Around 60 minutes a day was associated with the best chance of their celebrating a 90th birthday," stated the report.

So if you're looking to become a nonagenarian: Keep your BMI down, and exercise daily. And for more ways to live a longer, healthier life, check out How Far You Need to Walk Every Day to Extend Your Life.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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