Dr Bradley Elliott, Lecturer in Physiology, featured on Channel 4’s ‘How to Beat… Ageing’ to show participants how they could reduce their biological age.
In the programme, Dr Elliott oversaw the experiment by testing members of the public’s biological ages. Talking about the tests to show this, he said: “We’ve looked at body composition, how much fat they have, body function and how fit you are. We also tested things like blood pressure and heart rate, which are things your GP looks at.
From this data, Dr Elliott calculated the biological age of each volunteer, which reflects the demographic the volunteers were closest to when comparing all these measures together. As we age, blood pressure and body fat tend to increase, whereas aerobic fitness, heart function and muscle mass tend to decrease.
One of the major factors that increased some of the volunteers’ biological age was alcohol intake. Discussing this, Dr Elliott said: “A lot of binge drinking on the weekends adds a lot of extra calories.”
He added: “Alcohol reflects in the body composition in a big way, and student-style binge drinking isn’t great for this.”
He also said that one volunteer’s sedentary job was a factor of an increased biological age, and said: “He sits down all day, so we’re seeing measures of muscles, strength and endurance all being much lower than we expect them to be for someone his age.”