Want to Live a Longer Life? Science Says You Should Change the Way You Walk
It seems it’s wise to walk on the wild side.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Health advice is everywhere.
Why, you probably have a Fitbit or an Apple Watch permanently attached to you, so that it can nag you into your optimal state.
It's hard, though, to know all the right things to do.
The body has so many moving parts, after all.
Here, though, is some new advice from a group of scientists who studied walking.
Entitled Self-rated walking pace and all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality: individual participant pooled analysis of 50 225 walkers from 11 population British cohorts, this piece of research suggests that walking simply isn't enough to protect your health.
What may matter is how fast you walk.
The scientists say: "Walking at an average or brisk/fast pace was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause and CVD [Cardiovascular Disease] mortality, compared with reporting walking at a slow pace."
One of the researchers, Emmanuel Stamatakis from the University of Sydney, wrote in the New Zealand Herald: "Compared to slow walkers, average pace walkers had a 20 percent lower risk of early death from any cause, and a 24 per cent lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke."
You might be wondering just how fast you're supposed to be walking.
A minimum of 6 kph -- around 3.7 mph -- is the minimum. You should feel slightly out of breath and just a little bit sweaty when you're done.
A caveat is, of course, that this research depended on self-reported pace.
What seems clearer, though, is that strolling might be lovely for lovers, but doesn't necessarily add to their health quotient.
Perhaps you, though, are an adherent of the 10,000 Steps theory.
You might believe that it's the number of steps that matters, not the pace.
For you, I have bad news. That theory was, according to the British government, the invention of a Japanese pedometer manufacturer.
Life, like health, can seem like an arbitrary beast.
All one can suggest, therefore, is to try the walking on the wilder side thing and see if it makes any difference.
Oh, and cut down on the burgers, fries and ice cream.