Walk Faster, Live Longer
The slow walkers die first. That’s right: the slow walkers die first, as indicated in a recent study that looked at the death rates of about 40,000 people who walked regularly and walked at different speeds. Gretchen Reynolds reports in the New York Times that researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory divided participants into four categories, based on the speed of their walking. The fastest group averaged less than 13.5 minutes per mile and the slowest took more than 17 minutes per mile. Oh, by the way, Reynolds points out that, on average, female walkers were faster than men in all of the categories. The researchers cross-referenced their data against the National Death Index to learn which of them had died in the ten years since the start of the survey. The finding? The slowest walkers were about 18 percent more likely to have died than those in the other three categories, and many of them died from heart disease or dementia. Wait, it gets worse: the slowest of the slow walkers (24 minutes per mile or slower) were 44 percent more likely to have died than walkers who moved faster. The bottom line: walk faster, live longer.