A news article entitled “Keeping your DNA fit: Researchers find exercise buffs have ‘younger’ cells” was released by The Philadelphia Inquirer at the Psychology News Report Section of the American Psychological Association online.
The news article was about the newest study released last January 28, 2008 stating that exercise could slow down the aging process in human beings. The authors of the study concluded that the people who exercise more take a slower course of aging than those who have been “chronically sedentary” (Flam, 2008). The authors supported this claim with the experiment they conducted involving 67 pairs of identical twins where one of the twins had a sedentary lifestyle while the other had been mostly active and exercises regularly (Flam, 2008).
The term exercising regularly has been operationally defined as “more than three hours a week running, cycling, pumping iron, or other vigorous activity” (Flam, 2008). On the other hand, sedentary has been defined as “less than 16 minutes [of exercise] a week on the average” (Flam, 2008). The comparisons of the twin’s telomeres revealed that those twins who exercise more have longer telomeres. The telomere is the part of the DNA which becomes shorter when it divides (Flam, 2008). For the old people, the telomere becomes too short for the DNA to be capable of dividing and thus, it just shut downs the cells but it continues to exist (Flam, 2008).
The research still continues for the authors to be able to refine the study because there is still the “chicken-and-egg question” of whether it is the exercise that enables the people to stay young or the healthy condition that enables people to exercise more (Flam, 2008). Further studies would need to be done with this as there might be differences in the capacity of people such as the twins. Though they may have the same set of genes, there is still a difference with the environment they live in that makes them a lot healthier than the other twin and enables them to exercise more such as the type and quality of food available and the levels of stress.
Indeed, the most appropriate conclusion for the study is that exercise is one of the factors that slow down the rate of aging but is not the sole reason for the slow aging process (Flam, 2008).
The news article was able to identify the basic answers to basic questions. It poses the side of the research itself and the whereabouts but does not even provide the title and authors of the study. The lead author was mentioned but this could do little compared to having the title of the study itself. In addition to this, alternative views were not presented clearly.
Flam, F. (2008). Keeping your DNA fit: Researchers find exercise buffs have ‘younger’ cells. Retrieved January 29, 2008, from http://psycport.apa.org/showArticle.cfm?xmlFile=knightridder%5F2008%5F01%5F29%5F%5F0000%2D0241%2DPH%2DKeeping%2Dyour%2DDNA%2Dfit%2D0129%2Exml&provider=The%20Philadelphia%20Inquirer.