Could a leisurely stroll be detrimental to your health?
A new study has found that fast walkers tend to live longer than those that take their time getting from point A to point B.
The results were also found to be true regardless of the person’s weight.
Researchers from the U.K.’s University of Leicester studied nearly 500K people who were asked if they usually walked slow, steady or briskly. Slow walking was assessed as between 1 and 2 mph or 50 steps a minute, while brisk walkers average 3 mph or 100 steps a minute.
Other factors taken into consideration were each person’s body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and their percentage of body fat.
The study found that people that walked briskly lived up to nearly twenty years longer, whether they were underweight or obese.
Regardless of weight, brisk walkers lived between 86.7 to 87.8 years for women and 85.2 to 86.8 years for men. Most surprisingly was the fact that underweight individuals who walked slowly had the shortest life expectancy, 72.4 years for women and 64.8 for men.
"This is in contrast to assumption that is often made that obesity confers the most risk," lead researcher Tom Yates told Newsweek. "In fact, many other studies have also reported an elevated risk of mortality in those who are underweight, although ours is the first to investigate this in relation to walking pace."
Overall, the findings suggest that fast walkers of all sizes tend to be more physically fit, which serves as a better indicator of life expectancy than weight.
“Encouraging the population to engage in brisk walking may add years to their lives,’ Yates added.
So, put that extra pep in your step, because your life depends on it!