Swimming, cycling and aerobics are specific sports and exercises that offer "life-saving benefits" compared to running and playing football, according to an international research project led by the University of Sydney.
The new study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, also found that "death from cardiovascular disease was reduced in people who participated in swimming, racquet sports and aerobics," according to a media release posted on online news portal Science Media Exchange.
"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 senior author Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the Faculty of Health Sciences and School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.
"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," he said.
The study examined 80,000 people aged over 30 years to investigate the link between their participation in six different "exercise disciplines" - cycling, swimming, racquet sports, aerobics, football and running - and death.