In a world of misinformation, Fitness Pudding is here to separate fact from fallacy, and science from fiction.

Can How Fast You Walk Predict Your Risk of Dying?

Can How Fast You Walk Predict Your Risk of Dying?

 “How would you describe your usual walking pace?”

  1. Slow Pace
  2. Average, Steady Pace
  3. Brisk Pace

If you are like the nearly 421,000 middle-aged adults who were asked this question, it can tell you about your risk of dying from cancer or cardiovascular disease.2

Here was the percentage of women dying from anything (or all-cause), cancer or cardiovascular disease the following 6 years after answering this question.

Walking Pace

All-Cause

Cancer

CVD

Slow

3.4%

1.5%

0.7%

Average

1.5%

1.0%

0.2%

Brisk

1.1%

0.8%

0.1%

Notice that a higher percentage of women died who had said they walked at a “slow pace.” Also, over 60% of the women who died in the slow walking pace group, died of either cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Here was the risk in men, where we see an even greater increase in deaths in those who self-reported a slow walking pace up to 6 years earlier.

Walking Pace

All-Cause

Cancer

CVD

Slow

7.5%

2.5%

2.2%

Average

2.9%

1.6%

0.7%

Brisk

1.8%

1.1%

0.4%

However, as shown in the hazard ratio charts, for both women and men, when the additional influence of ethnicity, employment status, number of medications, smoking, alcohol use, diet, physical activity level and grip strength were statistically removed, the association of walking pace with cancer risk went away.

The relationship of walking pace with risk of dying from all-causes and cardiovascular disease was reduced, but still remained, as it did back in a study from 2010, which showed that slow versus high pace walkers had increased risk of dying from coronary heart disease, all-cause, respiratory disease, and multiple cancers.1

Conclusion

The authors conclude, “Within a large national sample of UK adults free from cancer and cardiovascular disease, a simple measure of self-perceived walking pace was associated with a higher risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.”2

The “hares” out there who walk at a faster, more “brisk” pace, most likely have better fitness, thus can reduce their risk of disease. For the “tortoises” who are, for whatever reason, walking at a “slow” pace can reduce their risk by picking up the pace a bit. Slow and steady might win the race, but brisk and steady might let you race a few years longer.

---

References

  1. Batty, G. D., Shipley, M. J., Kivimaki, M., Marmot, M., & Smith, G. D. (2010). Walking pace, leisure time physical activity, and resting heart rate in relation to disease-specific mortality in London: 40 years follow-up of the original Whitehall study. An update of our work with professor Jerry N. Morris (1910–2009). Annals of Epidemiology, 20(9), 661-669.
  2. Yates, T., Zaccardi, F., Dhalwani, N. N., Davies, M. J., Bakrania, K., Celis-Morales, C. A., ... & Khunti, K. (2017). Association of walking pace and handgrip strength with all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: A UK Biobank observational study. European Heart Journal. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehx449

 

Can Pacifiers Reduce Infant Obesity?
Birthday Cake Bacteria
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment