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Author Topic: What is the average life-span of an athlete?  (Read 20151 times)

LukyTom

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« on: 09/01/2011 12:43:56 »
Is the lifespan of professional athletes higher or lower than say normal people?

On one hand, these professionals are extremely fit and healthy, suggesting a longer life span.

However, their metabolisms will be higher than normal people, which suggest to me a shorter limit of life.

Thanks for your contributions.


[MOD EDIT - POST TITLED RE-FORMATED AS A QUESTION - PLEASE TRY TO PHRASE YOUR TITLES AS QUESTIONS, AS THIS IS FORUM POLICY. THANKS.]
« Last Edit: 09/01/2011 23:13:28 by chris »

Joe L. Ogan

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Re: What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #1 on: 09/01/2011 14:10:30 »
Many athletes become injured which affects their lifespan.  For example professional football players and boxers suffer brain damage from the body contact that they experience.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan

LukyTom

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Re: What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #2 on: 09/01/2011 22:47:05 »
What about say body building? And lets control it by saying no injuries were received.

RD

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #3 on: 10/01/2011 02:02:49 »
... professional football players ... suffer brain damage ...

May also be true of soccer-type football players ... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/176392.stm
« Last Edit: 10/01/2011 02:04:56 by RD »

JP

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #4 on: 10/01/2011 10:21:33 »
Are we counting the fact that many athletes are on performance enhancing drugs, which can have dangerous short or long-term side effects?

graham.d

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #5 on: 10/01/2011 13:58:16 »
There are a number of studies available on this but it is hard to generalise with the term "athlete". A quick review suggests that athletes engaged in endurance sports have better cardio-vascular systems than average. To what extent this is because they underwent training or because they were athletic as a result of having been born with a good cardio-vascular system is hard to know. Their life expectancy is longer than average as a result but then this is being compared to the rest of the population where a much higher number had not got the same congenital advantages. In other words, even if the stats showed athletes lived longer it may not be advantageous (in terms of longevity) to anyone to become an athlete; it could even have the opposite effect.

There are clearly some competitive sports that will damage your body in some ways and some of these will undoubtedly be life shortening, as already mentioned.

There is evidence to suggest that a way to increase longevity is go on a calory restricted diet - this is not what most sportsman would do though many would burn the calories at a faster rate. It seems to me that controlling ones weight to be lower than average and being moderately fit, without doing anything to excess, is probably the best regimen to achieve a long life. In most sports the idea would be to improve certain aspects, which invlove stressing the body in various ways; ultimately this can be detrimental.

Bored chemist

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #6 on: 10/01/2011 19:25:45 »
I rather suspect that most professional athletes are from the rich, healthy, Western, developed world.
On that basis I imagine they will have a much longer lifespan that the average human.

yamo

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #7 on: 11/01/2011 15:06:48 »
Lower.  more heartbeats = shorter life.  Just don't do it.

Bored chemist

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #8 on: 11/01/2011 18:56:49 »
Lower.  more heartbeats = shorter life.  Just don't do it.
Spoken like someone who doesn't know the resting heart rate of a typical athlete.

Joe L. Ogan

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #9 on: 11/01/2011 23:00:02 »
Surprisingly- There is information on Google that the average athlete lives only 67 years as compared to the average individual lives 76 years.  I could find no reason given for the difference.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan

graham.d

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #10 on: 12/01/2011 09:20:54 »
Joe, that statement needs a reference. How do you define average athlete? The average individual (worldwide) does not live to 76 years; in which region is this applying? Is it for male or female or an average of both?

Joe L. Ogan

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #11 on: 12/01/2011 14:31:18 »
I did not make the statement.  It was made on Google.  If you look it up you may find answers to your question.  I could find no explanation.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan

rosy

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #12 on: 12/01/2011 14:39:28 »
Joe... there's no such thing as "on google". Google provides you with links to other websites and the rankings change all the time... if we run a google search we might not find the same article you did.

Please repeat your search, find the link, and post at least the URL in thread. 

Joe L. Ogan

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #13 on: 12/01/2011 15:01:34 »
It is odd that you did not find it on Google!  I just now looked and it was there.  "Does a professional athlete live longer than average?"  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan

rosy

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #14 on: 12/01/2011 15:18:30 »
So having looked it up, you can now post the URL, can't you?
When I put "Does a professional athlete live longer than average?" into the google search bar (with quotes in place) the only page that is returned is this one! Without the quotes, this page is still the top hit and I only see one other link on the first page of hits that's about lifespan... and that's a "yahoo!answers" page (not a credible source for anything).
So.. and this really is simply a matter of forum ettiquette: please provide the URL for whatever it was you found.

Joe L. Ogan

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #15 on: 12/01/2011 16:20:37 »
15 Surprising Facts about world class athletes.  I believe you may find it here.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan

graham.d

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #16 on: 12/01/2011 16:32:58 »
From the website you looked at:

http://strengthplanet.com/other/15-surprising-facts-about-world-class-athletes.htm

it says:

"9. What is the life expectancy of world class athletes?

Not so good. The average elite athlete will die by the age of 67. That is considerably lower then the 76 year life expectancy of the average American. Do you want to hear something that is really scary? According to the NFL Players Association, the average life expectancy of an NFL player is 58 years of age"

It isn't clear where their statistics came from but it seems they are talking about the USA and (I think) US athletes. I could easily believe the stats for NFL players as that is a very hard game with lots of injuries likely. Also American football requires a high proportion of people who are already abnormally large and well outside the "normal" spectrum.

DavidBHenderson

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #17 on: 11/12/2011 19:14:32 »
There is some evidence that endurance athletes may experience heart damage from prolonged stressful activity:  http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/CHF/30053?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DailyHeadlines&utm_source=WC&eun=g330171d0r&userid=330171&email=information@bestpanacea.com&mu_id=

It is not certain that the damage is long term and irreversible. 

Post by Ophiolite click to view.

Ophiolite

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What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #18 on: 12/12/2011 16:48:41 »
Shrunk
15 Surprising Facts about world class athletes.  I believe you may find it here.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
Would it have been really to much trouble to post the actual url? Do you derive some warped satisfaction from being difficult?

A big thanks to graham.d for doing Joe's work for him.

devilzwishbone

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Re: What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #19 on: 08/10/2012 23:45:11 »
I have joined specifically to post a reply to this thread.
I was keen to want to know what the life expectancy of athletes was, since ive recently watched 2 seperate documentaries on the human body.

One.created by the bbc
The second created by national geographic

Both state that whilst oxigen is essential to live, it also slowly poisons us, where a chemical reaction takes place in all cells that combine food and oxigen to create energy (mito something I think it said)

In which it.creates freeradicals that destroy and speed up the aging process of cells


When cells reproduce they copy all including duplicating any defects
I knew this from having watched an animated clip on youtube before.

But the way the national geographic documentary explained.it was...
Imagine photocopying a picture
Everytime you photocopy it again, the picture quality fades
Until it cannot.be copied no.more

If oxigen does this then technically speaking athletes should have a lower life expectancy than non sporting competitors

David Cooper

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Re: What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #20 on: 09/10/2012 19:38:51 »
In the days when I was heavily into cycle racing, my rest heart rate was 40 beats per minute. It's now close to 60. I trained like Obree - short, high-intensity bursts of activity rather than blasting it for hours on the road, so overall this meant a reduced number of heart beats.

Tour de France cyclists have a life expectency of 60 years, but that's not taking into account the massive reduction in drug use that's happening now - EPO was killing a several of them a year at one time.

One of the big dangers for retiring athletes is that they don't train down properly - they often stop too suddenly and their heart reduces in size fast. It's better to wind down over many years by cutting back on training rather than cutting it out altogether.

Former athletes can also have trouble with their weight as they're used to stuffing the food in to fuel themselves. Eddy Merckx got extremely fat after he retired, though he seems to be getting the weight off now.

Many of the people who live longest work hard for most of their life, so they're similar to athletes in terms of exercise except that they don't need to drive themselves to the limit the same way. The idea of starving yourself to live longer is similar to this, but it isn't necessary to do the starvation bit if you simply balance your food intake agains exercise properly.

Ophiolite

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Re: What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #21 on: 10/10/2012 03:50:50 »
15 Surprising Facts about world class athletes.  I believe you may find it here.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
Is there a reason Joe that you could not have posted the URL as requested? Would it really have been to much trouble, or were you just going out of your way to be rude?


evan_au

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Re: What is the average life-span of an athlete?
« Reply #22 on: 14/10/2012 04:26:23 »
Quote
mito something I think it said

These would be "mitochondria", often nicknamed the power station of the cell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondria

 

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