Fast walkers could live up to 15 years longer than people who dawdle, study finds

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
Fast walkers could live longer than those who dawdle [Photo: Getty]

You might want to stop scrolling through your phone and pick up the pace, as fast walkers could live up to 15 years longer than those who dawdle.

Researchers at Leicester University analysed data from 2006 and 2016 on 474,919 people across the UK with an average age of 52.

Findings indicated that women who regularly walk briskly have an average life expectancy of 86.7 to 87.8 years while fast-walking men can expect to ring in their 86th birthday.

READ MORE: Want to live to 90? The daily exercise you need to be doing

Slow walkers should consider upping their speed however, as dawdling women have a life expectancy of 72.4 while men can expect to live until 64.8-years-old.

To put the new findings into perspective, the average life expectancy in the UK is 79 for men and almost 82 for women.

You might want to put down your phone and pick up the pace [Photo: Getty]

According to the new study, these statistics even apply to fast walkers who are severely overweight.

“Our findings could help clarify the relative importance of physical fitness compared to body weight on life expectancy of individuals,' Tom Yates, the physical activity professor at Leicester, explained.

READ MORE: Why it’s so important to exercise during pregnancy

Though it’s not the first investigation to have uncovered the benefits of brisk walking.

A 2011 study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), discovered that walking speed is a reliable indicator of life expectancy.

In 2018, findings from a report conducted by the University of Sydney also found that increasing your walking pace could cut your risk of early death by a fifth.

But the latest stats don’t necessarily mean that fast walkers will outlive others, as the report simply indicates a correlation between exercise and increased life expectancy.