There’s a secret to living to 90 years old, study says

Want to live to 90 years old? A new report reveals how you can.

Researchers from health institutions in the Netherlands conducted a study in 2019, published in the BMJ medical journal, to determine the link between body size and the likelihood of reaching age 90.

To do so, they examined more than 7,000 men and women between ages 55 and 69 over the course of three decades. They recorded the subjects’ height and weight, as well as their physical activity, like gardening and walking. The team then grouped those activities into three categories: less than 30 minutes daily, 30 to 60 minutes daily, and 90 minutes or more daily.

The participants were monitored until they died or turned 90.

At the end of the study, about 16% of the men and about 34% of the women survived to the age of 90.

In fact, the authors found women who were taller than 5 feet 9 inches were 31% more likely to reach 90, compared to those who were under 5 feet 3 inches.

There was no apparent link between height and longevity among men. However, men who did physical activity 90 minutes a day were 39% more likely to make it to 90, compared to those who did less than 30 minutes. And every additional 30 minutes of daily physical activity resulted in a 5% increase in their chances of turning 90.

The findings weren’t the same for women, though. Ladies who got in 30-60 minutes a day were 21% more likely to see their 90th birthday, compared to those who managed just 30 minutes.

“Our findings showed that height, BMI at age 68–70 years and BMI change since the age of 20 years were significantly associated with reaching longevity in women but not in men,” the authors wrote in the study. “Non-occupational physical activity was positively significantly associated with an increased chance of reaching longevity in both sexes, but evidence for a non-linear relationship was observed in women.”

The scientists noted their study was observational. Their results do not indicate causation.

Want to learn more about the findings? Take a look at the full assessment here.