If you've never paid much attention to how fast or slow you walk, you might want to start paying more attention to your walking patterns. It could be a matter of life and death...
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
, walking speeds can actually predict how long you’ll live.
Are you on the slow or fast side?
The link between walking speed and how long you’ll live
Researchers crunched the numbers on some 35,000 seniors who took part in nine studies that, among other things, measured their walking speeds, explains Dr William Campbell Douglass of The Douglass Report
Since all of them were still living at home, these weren’t patients shuffling through hospitals and nursing homes, but independent seniors.
Here’s what researchers found
Walk faster than about 90cm per second (3.62Kmph) and you might outlive your life insurance policy. Walk slower than 60.96cm per second (2.18Kmph) and you might be on borrowed time.
Basically researchers found that, a 70-year-old man who cruises at 3.62Kmph will live an average of eight years longer than one who trudges at 1.61Kmph, while women that age can expect an extra decade.
But does your walking speed really make that much of a difference?
Dr Douglass says not its own anyway.
“Despite any adjustments these researchers may have made in their study, anyone who’s limping along at 1.61 measly kilometers per hour has something seriously wrong and maybe it just hasn’t been diagnosed yet,” he says.
Dr Douglass suggests, if you have all the speed of a tortoise and you’re not suffering from an obvious leg, foot or calf injury, you need to find out why your motor coordination is so out of whack because that and not your walking speed by itself, is probably the real culprit here.
But at the same time, maybe you should pick up the pace a little. Just in case.
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