Walking fast not only helps get a person to their destination faster, but it can be also beneficial for a person's health.
A new study suggests that walking at a faster pace can help prevent premature death. The researchers who conducted the study were from the University of Sydney.
Walking For Life
The study, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, examined over 50,000 walkers from Britain between 1994 and 2008. The walkers were all over the age of 30 years old. The researchers collected information on the walkers, which included the pace they walked at and their health outcomes.
The researchers discovered that any pace can reduce the risk a person dying from cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke or a heart attack. For people who walked an average pace, they had a 20 percent lower chance of having an early death from any cause and 24 percent lower chance of an early death due to a heart attack or stroke.
For the ones who reported to walk at a faster pace, they had a 24 percent lower risk of death from any cause and a 21 percent lower risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke.
The researchers also noted that for older people, walking fast was very beneficial for them. People 60 years or older who walked at an average pace experienced a 46 percent reduction of dying from a cardiovascular disease. The ones who walked at a faster pace experienced a 53 percent reduction.
Walkers who were between the ages of 45 and 49 years old that were brisk or fast walkers had a 36 percent lower risk of dying at an early age. This was compared to the ones who walked at a slower rate.
What Does This Mean?
Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, the lead author of the study, commented that while the body mass and gender of each walker did influence the outcome of their findings, walking at a fast or average pace was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of all morality or cardiovascular disease. Stamatakis continued that their findings did not show that it would help lessen the chance of a person getting cancer.
The researchers are calling for a public health message to help emphasize the importance of walking.
"Assuming our results reflect cause and effect, these analyses suggest that increasing walking pace may be a straightforward way for people to improve heart health and risk for premature mortality—providing a simple message for public health campaigns to promote," Stamatakis stated.