New research shows that the walking speed of older adults can indicate their well-being and longevity. The information was compiled from nine studies and included over 34,000 adults ages 65 and older. The study revealed that as the gait speed of both sexes increased, so did the predicted years of remaining life. The participants’ gait speed was calculated using distance in meters and seconds. The average rate of speed was about 2 miles per hour.
The research does not encourage older adults to walk faster, because that could be unsafe. Instead, the researchers hope to be able to identify health problems in the people who are walking more slowly and in turn find ways to correct the problems so that the older adults can function better.
For more information, read the entire article at www.usatoday.com/yourlife/health/2011-01-05-walking05_ST_N.htm.