How does our walking pace affect health?
If you are one of those people who typically walk relatively quickly, this could have a positive impact on their long-term health. Researchers have now found that faster gait reduces the risk of premature death.
In their current research, the University of Sydney scientists found that walking faster promotes long-term health and can thus prevent premature death. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "British Journal of Sports Medicine".
Our walking pace is individual
Everyone has an individual walking pace. Some people walk very slowly, others march as quickly as their feet allow. The faster walking people have the advantage that they have a lower risk of premature death, the experts say.
The study had more than 50,000 subjects
In total, the data from more than 50,000 pedestrians and hikers were analyzed for the study. It was examined how fast the individual participants normally traveled on foot. Then the doctors looked at the health of the test subjects. The results were checked to ensure that they were not due to poor health or other habits such as smoking and exercising. The scientists found that any running pace above a slow speed reduced the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease or stroke.
How did the walking speed affect?
Compared to slow-moving people, people who walk at an average speed had a 20 percent lower risk of general premature death. The risk of heart disease and stroke dying in this person was reduced by 24 percent. When the participants reported that they walked quickly and quickly, they had a 24 percent reduced risk of dying early. These individuals were also 21 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular causes.
Older people benefit greatly from a faster walking pace
The positive effects of walking fast in older age groups were significantly more pronounced. For example, people who were moving at an average pace experienced a 46 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular deaths aged 60 years or older. If people of this age walk faster, the risk is reduced by as much as 53 percent, the scientists report. In these older age groups, a linearly higher reduction in the risk of early death was also found, depending on the speed of walking. The results suggest that normal or fast walking is beneficial for long-term health and longevity compared to slow walking. This advantage is particularly strong for older people.
It was an observational study
However, the investigation was only a so-called observational study. In addition, all possible influences were probably not taken into account. For example, unhealthy people may be walking slowly as a result of their poor health. The state of health could also be the reason why those affected die early, the researchers explain. Another important point is that the study participants stated their own pace themselves, which means that the study relates to the perceived pace. For this reason, the results could be interpreted as reflecting the perceived intensity of walking in relation to one's own physical capacity. That would mean that the higher the physical exertion felt when walking, the better the health, the scientists further explain.
Hiking improves your health
Hiking is an excellent health improvement activity that can be done easily by most people of all ages. The current results suggest that a pace should be reached when hiking or walking that takes up physiology. (as)