Melbourne VIC, Australia, 30 November 2016 |

People who participate in racquet sports such as tennis have a significantly reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD), a study has found.

The research, led by the University of Sydney and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that players of racquet sports – tennis, squash and badminton – reduced their risk of death from CVD by 56 per cent compared with those who didn’t play them.

Those who played racquet sports were shown to reduce their risk of death from any cause by almost 50 per cent compared with those who didn’t participate in these sports.

These reductions were more significant for those playing racquet sports compared with those who participated in other sports assessed in the study – swimming, aerobics, cycling, football and running.

The study assessed responses from 80,000 people over the age of 30, taken from 11 nationally representative annual health surveys conducted between 1994 and 2008 in England and Scotland.

These surveys examined the relationship between mortality and participation in different forms of physical activity.

“Our findings indicate that it’s not only how much and how often, but also what type of exercise you do that seems to make the difference,” said Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, the study’s senior author.

“Participation in specific sports may have various benefits for health. These observations with the existing evidence should support the sport community together with other sectors to design and implement effective health enhancing exercise programs and physical activity in general.”