Research shows sports could increase life expectancy

(CNN) -- A new observational study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings set out to evaluate how participating in different sports could add more years to your life.

The study followed more than 8,000 people who engaged in various leisure activities between 1991 and 2017. The results? The participants who played tennis lived on average 9.7 years longer.

Soccer was also associated with a longer life, with participants living an average of 4.7 years longer. Cyclists tended to live 3.7 years longer, swimmers and joggers lived more than 3 years longer and regular health club activities lived an average of 1.5 years longer.

A study published earlier this year also found that adequate exercise played an important role in living a longer life, but added factors like genetics and a healthy diet were also vital.

In a surprising finding, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a sedentary lifestyle could be just as harmful to your health as smoking, diabetes and even heart disease.