An interesting New Zealand study followed 1,000 participants to find that walking speed in your 40’s was correlated with the rate of ageing. Specifically the faster you walk at age 45, the slower the body’s ageing process, such as less cognitive decline, healthier lungs, teeth and immune system. Walking slow was observed as an early predictor of accelerated ageing, many years before it occurs. Fast walking (not running) was defined as up to 2 metres per second.
This research can be considered against the backdrop of walking speed as a predictor of longevity when older. Across 34,485 study participants, a review of 9 studies showed a survival benefit (living longer) of an extra 12% for every 10 centimeters per second faster one walks. This review found that simple indicators such as age, gender and walking speed was equally accurate of survival, when compared to clinical forecasts based on medical history, health status and hospital admission records.
Something so simple – makes us wonder if we should all go for brisk walks!