Are you the kind of person who meanders down the street at a leisurely pace? Or do you walk quickly to get where you’re going?
Does it matter?
Yes, according to new research from the University of Leicester and Loughborough University, which found that if you walk faster, you can expect to live longer.
They analysed data on 474,919 people with an average age of 52 in the UK over a 10 year span and found women who walked briskly had a life expectancy of 86.7 to 87.8 years old, and slow walkers had much bleaker prospects: women had a life expectancy of 72.4, if they were more leisurely in their movements.
And what they weighed made no difference.
“Our findings could help clarify the relative importance of physical fitness compared to body weight on life expectancy of individuals,” said the study’s co-author, professor Tom Yates.
“In other words, the findings suggest that perhaps physical fitness is a better indicator of life expectancy than body mass index (BMI), and that encouraging the population to engage in brisk walking may add years to their lives.”
Better dust off your walking shoes.