BALTIMORE (WJZ) — People who enjoy walking at a nice, leisurely speed may want to think about picking up the pace. Researchers in England are warning that people who like to move at a slower pace may be at greater risk for heart problems.
According to a new study, a person’s pace showed a direct connection to their chances of dying from heart disease. Thomas Yates and his team at the University of Leicester studied over 400,000 people, testing their hand-grip strength and walking pace.
Over a six-year period, more than 8,000 of the respondents passed away. 1,654 of those deaths were attributed to heart disease. “Slow walkers were around twice as likely to have a heart-related death compared to brisk walkers,” Yates said in a press release. “We also found that self-reported walking pace was strongly linked to an individual’s objectively measured exercise tolerance, further suggesting walking pace is a good measure of overall physical fitness,” he added.
The researchers also discovered that a person’s hand-grip was less accurate than their walking pace in determining fitness and risks for heart conditions.
Although the findings showed a strong link between walking pace and heart disease, the results were not as useful in predicting cancer-related deaths in the patients. Nearly 5,000 people in the study died of cancer during the same six-year period Yates and his colleagues were observing.