For Teen Boys, Muscles May Mean Longer Life

But researchers caution that building muscle mass doesn't increase lifespan

By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 25, 2012 6:05 AM CST
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(Newser) – It apparently pays to be strong. A new study out of Sweden finds that teenaged boys with above-average muscle strength have a better chance of living longer compared to those with lower levels of arm and leg muscle strength or a weaker grip, reports the BBC. Researchers analyzed nearly one million military conscripts over 24 years, and found that those in the "above-average" category at the start of the study had a 20% to 35% lower risk of early death.

Even muscular overweight men fared better than thinner men with weaker muscles. It may not be purely physical, either—stronger boys had a lower risk of death from suicide, and were less likely to develop psychiatric issues like schizophrenia or depression. But a professor cautions that the study doesn't mean that beefing up your muscles will translate into a longer life. "Sadly the trials of an intervention to increase exercise have not shown notable benefits, though that does not discourage me and many others from exercising."

Teenage boys with strong muscles may live longer.
Teenage boys with strong muscles may live longer.   (?)
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