A greater socioeconomic standing and the avoidance of general dangers during a professional sports career result in a longer life duration when compared to a life without a competitive sports career. Sport-specific risk factors, on the other hand, diminish life duration when training load increases. During high-intensity exercise, for example, oxygen supply can be compromised due to increased blood viscosity or reduced cardiac output. This may lead to fatigue and an early end of the sport season or even cause injury.
The average age of soccer players at the time of their first retirement is 42.4 years, while tennis players retire at an average age of 35.8 years-old. Baseball players have the highest average age of retirement at 46.7 years-old. Football players are expected to play until they are 45 years-old on average, but many older players continue to play at a low level for financial reasons. At any age, however, football is the most dangerous sport to play because it involves repeated collisions with other players and opponents.
Soccer has the greatest number of athletes who play at a high level throughout their entire career. This is because the game is relatively easy to learn and plays can be identified by their color, allowing coaches to plan their strategy accordingly. Soccer also has one of the longest careers in athletics; players usually stop when they are around 38 years-old but some continue playing into their 40s.
A lot of studies have found that top athletes have lower mortality rates and live longer lives than the general population. It is unclear if this is related to physical activity and fitness training or other factors, as great chess players appear to have similar advantages. Some research has suggested that elite athletes may die younger, but this seems to be true only if they are young adults who play competitive sports. For older athletes, there is no evidence that they die any sooner than the rest of the population.
The best evidence so far suggests that elite athletes do not have higher mortality rates than non-athletes. However many studies have shown that active people tend to live longer than inactive people, so more information is needed about how much exercise is necessary to avoid disease and death in later life.
It is possible that athletes die younger because they are the ones to go first. If one dies, then it is likely that another will take their place, so they can still participate fully in society. Or perhaps these young deaths are just statistical outliers. The truth is probably some combination of these things; we just don't know enough about how exercise affects the body over time.
Athletes of elite caliber die at an earlier age. FACT: There is some evidence that professional athletes, performing artists, and top runners have a shorter life expectancy. Other investigations revealed that top athletes' increased life expectancy might be explained by a lower cancer risk....
Furthermore, team athletes appear to have greater survival rates than solo performers. The authors (2011) discovered a significantly higher death rate among 812 soccer players between 1908 and 2006, as well as a 1.9-year decrease in life expectancy. They concluded that professional soccer players die younger than expected by normal standards.
The answer is that they tend to die younger but not because of soccer. Their conclusion is based on studies showing that athletes tend to die younger than non-athletes and studies showing that sports seem to be linked with certain types of cancer. Since cancer can be caused by other factors such as diet and lifestyle, these studies cannot prove that sports are the cause of death for soccer players or any other type of athlete. All they can say is that there is a correlation between sports and cancer mortality. Correlation does not mean causation. For example, it has been shown time and time again that people who eat fast food are more likely to die early but this does not mean that eating fast food causes people to die earlier. Studies like these need to control for other possible causes of cancer mortality and sports participation to determine actual cause of death.