Your Walking Pace Might Predict Your Lifespan, Study Finds

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.26 - 2024 11:38 AM CET

Health
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Your walking pace may indicate whether you are at risk of dying prematurely, according to a group of researchers.

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Your walking pace might reveal more about your health and longevity than you might think. A study reported by The Sun found that a slow walking pace is associated with an increased risk of early death.

British researchers discovered that people who walk slowly have a higher risk of dying from heart attacks, cancer, or other causes within ten years. They suggest that walking faster might help extend your lifespan, ultimately improving your health and reducing the likelihood of premature death.

"We encourage people to increase their walking speed wherever possible, as it can boost their life expectancy," said Dr. Jonathan Goldney of the University of Leicester, a lead researcher on the study.

He added, "There are numerous other benefits to physical activity, as previous studies have shown. Physicians should consider asking their patients about their walking pace, as it can provide valuable insights into their risk of death. This information could help guide strategies to prevent early death and disease."

Benefits of Walking Faster

Previous studies have shown that walking more often can lower your risk of death, even if you walk fewer than 5,000 steps a day.

This new research, published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases by Elsevier, examined data from 391,652 British citizens aged 38 to 73. Participants were asked about their walking pace—ranging from slow to fast—and then tracked over an average period of 12 years to assess how walking pace influenced their risk of death. During this time, 22,413 people died.

The results indicated that those who generally walked at a faster pace had a significantly lower risk of dying from all causes, with the most pronounced health benefits seen in reduced risk of heart disease and other related conditions.

"To our knowledge, the comparison of the risk of death from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other causes at different walking speeds has never been analyzed before," Dr. Goldney said, reflecting on the study's findings.

"While we observed reductions in all three causes of death among those who walked at a fast or moderate pace, the most significant reduction was noted among older male participants who died from other causes."

Ultimately, the study's findings reinforce the importance of physical activity and suggest that something as simple as walking faster could play a role in extending lifespan.

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