Faster walkers ‘are more likely to live longer than those who trudge along’

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FASTER walkers are more likely to live longer, researchers say.

And the theory holds true regardless of body weight or obesity status.

New research suggests that faster walkers will have longer lives
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New research suggests that faster walkers will have longer lives[/caption]

Brisk walkers hit speeds of 3mph — about 100 steps a minute and, in general, they will overtake most other walkers. Slow walkers trudge along at between 1mph and 2mph, or just 50 steps a minute.

The researchers, who studied 474,919 people, found that those with a fast walking pace had a longer life expectancy across all weight categories — from underweight to morbidly obese.

Underweight individuals with a slow walking pace had the lowest life expectancy — an average of 64.8 years for men, 72.4 for women.

Lead author Prof Tom Yates, of the University of Leicester, said: “The findings suggest that perhaps physical fitness is a better indicator of life expectancy than body mass index.


“Encouraging the population to engage in brisk walking may add years to their lives.”

Last year, Prof Yates and his team showed that middle-aged people who walked slowly were at higher risk of heart- related disease.

That study, which also used data from the UK Biobank, showed that slow walkers were twice as likely to have a heart-related death as fast walkers, even accounting for smoking and BMI.

Experts say that slow walkers were twice as likely to have a heart-related death as fast walkers
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Experts say that slow walkers were twice as likely to have a heart-related death as fast walkers[/caption]

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