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Time to pick up the pace? Slow walkers more likely to die from heart disease, study says

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We’ve all been there. You’re sauntering along the footpath when suddenly you’re stopped in your tracks – by slow walkers.

Now science has found a good reason for them to speed up, with a new study showing slow walkers are at a higher risk of heart disease than the rest of the population.

The team of researchers at the University of Leicester looked at nearly 500,000 middle-aged people across the UK who described their usual walking pace as either slow, steady/average or brisk and tracked them over six years.

Get a move on

They found slow walkers were twice as likely to have a heart-related death compared to brisk walkers.

This result was the same for both men and women and couldn’t be explained by other risk factors such as smoking, body mass index, diet or how much television the participants watched.

Slow walkers were also less likely to be physically fit than the brisk walkers.

It makes sense – walking at a faster pace elevates your heart rate more than strolling along at a more sedentary pace.

So what if you’re a slow walker who doesn’t want to go faster? The researchers say you may want to step up your other physical activities such as the gym.

With heart disease the number one cause of death worldwide, it could just save your life.

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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