Health: Exercise is in your DNA

Sit less, live more; that’s right everyone, exercise is good for you. Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have found that people who are on their feet frequently actually tend to have longer telomeres, the tiny end of DNA that work to protect chromosomes. “Telomeres have attracted a lot of interest in the last few years because they are situated at the end of our chromosomes and have shown to be important for DNA replication and cell survival,” said lead researcher Per Sjogren. Researchers obtained the finding by taking blood samples from 49 sedentary and overweight 60 year olds. All of the participants were randomly assigned to an exercise program or asked to keep their usual routine. Though the exercise intervention couldn’t be linked to longer telomeres, less time spent sitting was, “Long telomeres are good — long hours sitting, not so much,” said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. Exactly why less time sitting would affect telomere length remains unknown.

Contributor: Phoebe Roe


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