Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Double Decker Secret

[Welcome Industry Radar readers!]

What do double decker buses and heart attacks have in common? Drivers of double decker buses have a lesser risk of heart attack than do drivers of more traditional buses.
The WSJ Blog reports on a study by Dr. Jeremy Morris.
Morris thought there might be some link between occupation and heart-attack risk. And when he looked at the men who worked on London’s double-decker buses, he found a striking result: The conductors — who went up and down the stairs on the bus all day long — were half as likely to die of heart attacks as the drivers, who sat at the wheel all day.

The data held up; among postal workers, Morris found, those who delivered mail by bike or on foot were far less likely to die of heart attacks than those who sat behind the counter at the post office.

New information?

Not really.

Dr. Morris reported his findings in 1953.

So why is this news?

Dr. Morris died two weeks ago at the age of 99.
He swam, rode an exercise bike or walked for at least half an hour on most days until he was well into his 90s. And in recent years, he often walked up and down the stairs of the London School of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Health, where he was an emeritus professor.

“I’m constantly being asked: ‘Your long life, what would you advise?’ and so forth,” Morris told the FT. “To start telling other people what to do – I’m very reluctant. Except on exercise, where to a large extent I feel it’s what I’ve done myself that’s contributed to longevity.”

Sounds like good advice.
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