Quick Stepping Senior Citizens Avoid Death
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal announces that senior citizens who walk faster than 3 miles per hour stay ahead of the Grim Reaper. In a population based prospective study correlating walking speeds with death rates, researchers discover that there is a statistically significant increase in the death rate for those who walk slower at speeds of approximately 2 miles per hour. The researchers conclude that the Grim Reaper has a working speed of 2 miles per hour and can theoretically be outpaced by simply walking faster.
In a tongue-in-cheek style of presentation, researchers from the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project (CHAMP) in Sydney, Australia reveal their findings that walking at speeds of up to 3 miles per hour significantly decreased the death rate in a study comprised of 1,705 men aged 70 and above.
In the study, the participants were a mix of men of several nationalities who live within the inner city and suburbs of Sydney. At the beginning of the 5-year study the participants walking speeds were assessed for baseline data. Throughout the study period, the incidence of death among the participants was monitored and recorded for final analysis.
What the researchers found was that of the 266 participants who died during the study, that they had an average walking speed of approximately 2 miles per hour. However, what was especially striking was the fact that none of the participants who had a walking speed of 3 miles per hour died during the entire 5-year period.
Using statistical software that measured walking speeds against mortality rates, the researchers determined that the Grim Reaper has a preferred walking speed during work of just under 2 miles per hour and that participants who walked at speeds greater than two miles per hour were 1.23 times less likely to encounter Death. Furthermore, that with a walking speed of 3 miles per hour, the faster participants were able to avoid the Grim Reaper’s touch entirely during the 5-year period.
In all seriousness, the importance of this study is that it does support past research that has indicated longevity benefits attributed to walking at a pace that has cardiovascular-improving properties. The authors of the paper believe that their results showing that senior citizens who walk faster than 3 miles per hour can stay ahead of the Grim Reaper can be used as a motivational tool to improve participation and adherence to health promotional activities. Aside from longevity, encouraging senior citizens to walk at a pace that strengthens the heart will promote other health benefits as well.
Reference: British Medical Journal (BMJ)