Fast Walkers Live 15 Years Longer

Melissa Breyer, May 16, 2019 – A new study finds a wide gap in life expectancy correlated to walking speed, across all levels of BMIs.

Researchers looking at data from the UK Biobank of 474,919 people found that those who walked faster had longer life expectancies.

Now this on its own might not come as much of a surprise; faster walkers might have lower Body Mass Index (BMI), which is usually associated with better health.

But here’s the catch: Participants reporting brisk walking pace had longer life expectancies across all levels of BMIs.

And in fact, slower walkers with BMIs in the underweight range had the shortest life expectancies of all.

The study, conducted by researchers at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, is the first to associate a brisk walking pace with a longer life expectancy regardless of a person’s body weight.

The median age of the participants in the prospective cohort study used for the analyses was 58.2 years, with an average BMI of 26.7, which is considered overweight.

The data showed that those with a self-reported brisk walking pace had longer life expectancies across all BMIs, ranging from 86.7 to 87.8 years for women and 85.2 to 86.8 years for men.

You can see the whole study here: Comparative Relevance of Physical Fitness and Adiposity on Life Expectancy