How fast you walk can be a sign of how well you'll age

How fast you walk can be a sign of how well you'll age

We all know fast-walkers and slow-walkers.


A study conducted by professors from many universities - including King's College London and Duke University in the US - has found a link between a slower walking pace throughout life, and overall health.


A study of 1,000 people in Dunedin, New Zealand, which began in 1970 and followed the participants through to middle age, has found that those who clocked in at a slow pace of 1.25 metres per second had smaller brain volume, more cortical thinning, smaller cortical areas, and more white matter lesions.


These are factors that would be more likely to show up in an older brain.


Other scary outcomes for slow walkers included worse cardiorespiratory health, immune health, and gum and teeth health of the slow-walking participants than those who were clocking in at 1.75 metres per second or faster.

The participants were all 45 years old at the time that the follow-up data was gathered.

It is important to consider that some of the participants may walk slower due to poor health, which could also explain poor results on the various bio-markers that were tested.


The results have been described as "really striking" by the team who carried out the research. The study has since appeared on the JAMA Network Open.


"The thing that's really striking is that this is in 45-year-old people, not the geriatric patients who are usually assessed with such measures," said lead researcher Line J.H. Rasmussen, a post-doctoral researcher in the Duke University department of psychology & neuroscience.

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