top of page

Brisk walking contributes to shortening the biological life of a person

Researchers from the University of Leicester, Britain, have found a clear link between walking faster and reducing a person's biological life.

According to the study of 400,000 Britons, brisk walking can make a person look 16 years younger by the time they reach middle age.

The results of the study indicated that the fastest participants, are defined by those who walked faster than 4 mph, had longer telomeres, which are the "hats" at the end of each chromosome, and had repetitive sequences of DNA that protect the chromosome from damage, similar to the way Which prevents the cap at the end of the shoelace from unraveling.

These telomeres become shorter each time the cell divides, up to the point where they become too short for the cell to divide.

Scientists see telomere length as a marker of biological age, regardless of when a person was born, and is linked to a set of symptoms we associate with aging such as weakness.

The researchers estimated that brisk walking for a lifetime could reduce an individual's biological lifespan by up to 16 years by middle age.

Experts believe faster walking is a sign of better musculoskeletal health, heart and lung fitness, activity levels, motivation and mental health, but the University of Leicester team said it was unclear if walking pace was linked to biological age.

The scientists studied 405,981 Britons, with an average age of 57, listed in the UK Biobank, a database of patients monitored for 10 years and including genome data.

About half of the participants (212,303) self-reported an average walking speed, rated at three to four miles per hour.

They also collected additional data from nearly 100,000 participants, who wore activity trackers on their wrists 24 hours a day for a week.

The results, published in the journal Communications Biology, show that faster walkers, no matter how much exercise they do, have longer telomeres, the accumulation of these cells is thought to contribute to debilitation and age-related diseases, such as coronary artery disease and cancer.

In addition to increasing walking in general to improve health, people should also aim to increase the number of steps they can complete in a given time.

"While we have previously shown that walking pace is a very strong predictor of health, we have not been able to confirm that adopting a brisk walking pace actually leads to better health," Dr. Yates said.

A team from the university previously used UK Biobank data to show that at least 10 minutes of brisk walking per day is linked to a longer life expectancy, and they also found that active walkers have an average lifespan of up to 20 years longer than slow walkers.

Start Walking!... Fast 🚶‍♂️😊

Source: Daily Mail - Published: 03.05.2022


bottom of page