Faster walkers live longer, regardless of weight

Fast walkers could live longer than those who dawdle

Fast walkers could live longer than those who dawdle More

In 2013, USA researchers found walking pace was linked to lower heart disease risk and longer life expectancy.

You might want to stop scrolling through your phone and pick up the pace, as fast walkers could live up to 15 years longer than those who dawdle. Now this on its own might not come as much of a surprise; faster walkers might have lower Body Mass Index (BMI), which is usually associated with better health.

Researchers at Leicester University analysed data from 2006 and 2016 on 474,919 people across the United Kingdom with an average age of 52. The same pattern of results was found for waist circumference measurements.

The median age of the participants in the prospective cohort study used for the analyses was 58.2 years, with an average BMI of 26.7, which is considered overweight.

Slow walkers should consider upping their speed however, as dawdling women have a life expectancy of 72.4 while men can expect to live until 64.8-years-old.

And we'll reiterate that last point: Engaging in brisk walking may add years to one's life.

Tom Yates, a lead author of the study and professor of physical activity, sedentary behavior and health at the University of Leicester, told Newsweek scientists have extensively investigated the role of excess body weight on a person's life expectancy over the past few decades.

The report proves a correlation, not a cause-and-effect.

'However, it is not always easy to interpret a "relative risk". "This is in contrast to assumption that is often made that obesity confers the most risk", said Yates. But here's the catch: Participants reporting brisk walking pace had longer life expectancies across all levels of BMIs.

However, he cautioned as the study was observational it didn't show causation between walking and life expectancy. You can do so by increasing the frequency of your steps or increasing the length of them.

Those with a self-reported slow walking pace had shorter life expectancies.

"Therefore, a key message is that people should be conscious of their walking pace, and slow walkers should try and walk faster".

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