health

Science has found fast walkers live longer than slow walkers

By Marni Dixit September 22, 2018
People walking in Sydney

Tell your slow friend and save their life!

If you're one of the people who likes to walk at a snail's pace, it's time to get moving, because new research has found that those who walk quickly are more likely to live longer than those who don't.

The study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which looked at data from over 50,000 adults in the UK who reported their average walking speed as well as other health factors.

The people were tracked for nine years and found that those who were self-professed fast and average speed walkers had an approximately 20 per cent lower mortality risk than slow walkers. Over 1,000 of the self-professed slow walkers died from cardiovascular disease.

The study didn't prove cause and effect, however, the researchers suggested that being a fast walker strengthens the heart.

They also added that those who walk faster may simply be in better health than those who walk slower.

First author Emmanuel Stamatakis, a professor of physical activity, lifestyle and population health at the University of Sydney School of Medicine in Australia, told TIME:

“The main takeaway message is that stepping up the pace may be a good hack to make walking more health-enhancing."

“In those individuals who do very little exercise, walk very little (e.g. under 3,000-4,000 steps per day) and/or are not very physically fit, stepping up their usual walking pace to the point they are out of breath after a few minutes can be a great way to start building some fitness."

So, make sure you tell your slow friends to pick up the pace and save their lives!

Image: Getty Images