Abstract Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) is an important antioxidant previously shown to impact life span in Drosophila. We examined the consequences of manipulating Sod1 expression throughout the body or in the nervous system or musculature on life span and age-related locomotor impairment (ARLI) in Drosophila. Ubiquitous overexpression of SOD1 extended life span but did not substantially forestall ARLI, whereas ubiquitous knock-down of Sod1 shortened life span and accelerated ARLI. Interestingly, neither overexpression of Sod1 nor expression of Sod1 RNAi in the nervous system or muscle altered life span or ARLI. Our studies suggest that the control of reactive oxygen species by SOD1 in tissues other than the nervous system and musculature support life span and ARLI in Drosophila.