Above Average Speed of Walking Predicts Longer, Healthier Life

Why do some seniors expe­ri­ence rapid decline in their dai­ly func­tion while oth­ers con­tin­ue strong­ly and inde­pen­dent­ly into their nineties and beyond?

A group of researchers in Japan tried to answer this ques­tion.

They mea­sured a lot of fac­tors that might influ­ence an individual’s health, longevi­ty and abil­i­ty to func­tion inde­pen­dent­ly – what doc­tors call an activ­i­ties of dai­ly liv­ing assess­ment (the ADL index).

Better Performance on Activities of Daily Living Test

The mea­sure­ment that was the best pre­dic­tor of ADL scores was walk­ing speed.

Your age and abil­i­ty to reg­u­late blood pres­sure in an accept­able range were also cor­re­lat­ed with dai­ly func­tion­al­i­ty.  But walk­ing speed was the sin­gle best pre­dic­tor.

Oth­er research strength­ens these find­ings. For instance, a study from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Pitts­burgh that was released in 2007 showed that, among those over age 65, the fastest group of walk­ers (more than 2.5 mph) had a 90% like­li­hood of sur­viv­ing ten years or more com­pared to only a 20% chance for those in the slow­est group (less than 1.5 mph).

What makes this news even bet­ter is that there’s no upper age lim­it to the body’s inner pow­er of regen­er­a­tion and adap­ta­tion. That means any­one, at any age, can improve his or her walk­ing speed. It’s nev­er too late.

And if you’re younger, now’s the time to boost your fit­ness and devel­op a reserve tank of ener­gy.

What’s your plan? What are you doing today to enjoy life more ful­ly and build your health?

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About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods.

His website, askdrlavine.com, provides more information about his approach.

Please contact him at drlavine@yourbodyofknowledge.com or at 212-400-9663.

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