Speed Matters

A study in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the speed of walkers was linked to their longevity. This was determined by using information from over 34,000 adults sixty-five years or older. The research was led by Stephanie Studenski at the University of Pittsburgh. Those who walked 2.25 mph or faster consistently had greater longevity than those who walked slower, particularly for those over age seventy-five.

Walking requires a lot of skills and uses many parts of the body — legs, heart, lungs, proprioception and the nervous system. If any part of our body is not functioning properly it can lead to a slower walking speed and may be a leading indicator of trouble ahead. The study showed that those who worked to improve their speed had an increased survival rate. That’s one more reason to get out and get moving — at a good pace.