Author Topic: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?  (Read 3082 times)

Bigfoot_Mike

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Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« on: 07:42:40, 12/10/19 »
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-50015982


The research in this article implies that walking speed at age 45 is a good indicator of future health. However, there are some issues about the report. There is no indication of the effect of height on walking speed and nothing about terrain, duration or distance. Indeed, the fastest walkers in the study were said to walk at 4 m/s, which is 3 hour marathon pace. How credible is that? How long could they keep that up? At age 45 I could comfortably run 10k in an hour, but these superhumans were apparently able to walk almost 14.5 km in the same time. I am a fast walker (at least on the flat), but would get nowhere near 8+ mph. Can anyone on here walk at that pace for any distance?
« Last Edit: 08:09:02, 12/10/19 by Bigfoot_Mike »

Percy

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #1 on: 08:01:48, 12/10/19 »
Iíve scanned the research paper and can find no mention of people walking at 4 m/s. I think itís probably careless journalism in the BBC piece. 4 m/s is Olympic-standard walking pace, 20km in 83 minutes which is faster than the womenís world record. Nobody walks normally at anything like that pace. Given that the subjects were in their 40s I wouldnít be surprised if theyíd got mph and m/s mixed up.


All that pedantry aside itís pleasing as a fast walker.
« Last Edit: 08:05:42, 12/10/19 by Percy »

GinAndPlatonic

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #2 on: 08:17:46, 12/10/19 »
I hadn`t picked up on the supposed speeds, but I am pleased to read that as I have always walked fast. My wife complains about it. She is only small though, or maybe I will be looking after her in her demented old age. :o
Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because it's excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience - Adam Smith

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #3 on: 08:18:13, 12/10/19 »
I suspect you are right that the maximum speed was 4 mph. I can sustain that for quite a while on the flat, even being fat and in my fifties, despite a wrecked back and a sore Achilles Tendon. Is walking speed a better indicator of health than BMI? I hope so.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #4 on: 08:22:21, 12/10/19 »
I hadn`t picked up on the supposed speeds, but I am pleased to read that as I have always walked fast. My wife complains about it. She is only small though, or maybe I will be looking after her in her demented old age. :o
I have them same issue as you. I am 6 feet tall and my wife is under 5 feet (officially a Hobbit according to Peter Jackson) and struggles to keep up with me. I maintain that there is a minimum speed I can walk at, as I have to move my leg into place in time to stop me falling flat on my face.

fernman

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #5 on: 08:32:27, 12/10/19 »
I'm currently halfway through reading The Great Divide by Stephen Pern (1987), a walk along the Continental Divide of the United States, in which he appears to walk at a collossal speed most of the time, the exceptions being when he was slowed down by snow or bad terrain, covering 30 miles or more day after day.

By comparison, my walking speed is what you'd expect of someone the wrong side of seventy  :) .
Personally I think the fact that I'm still walking at all, compared to many people in the same age group (or lower!) speaks volumes about my health!

Jac

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #6 on: 08:38:53, 12/10/19 »
By comparison, my walking speed is what you'd expect of someone the wrong side of seventy  :) .
Personally I think the fact that I'm still walking at all, compared to many people in the same age group (or lower!) speaks volumes about my health!

Exactly :)

So many paths yet to walk, so little time left

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #7 on: 08:39:37, 12/10/19 »
The menís world record for 5k works out at an average walking speed of 4.6 m/s. There wonít be too many 45 year olds walking at 87% of world record pace.

Owen

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #8 on: 08:50:11, 12/10/19 »
The menís world record for 5k works out at an average walking speed of 4.6 m/s. There wonít be too many 45 year olds walking at 87% of world record pace.


Bl****y slackers!!!

Percy

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #9 on: 09:12:33, 12/10/19 »
Iíve just noticed that the researchers tested the participants walking speed on an 8m long pad. I reckon I could sustain 4m/s over that distance  ;D

BuzyG

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #10 on: 10:04:31, 12/10/19 »
Iíve just noticed that the researchers tested the participants walking speed on an 8m long pad. I reckon I could sustain 4m/s over that distance  ;D
I have my doubts, though you could easily run it.  Walking 4m/s is very fast.  Certainly faster than I can walk.


4mph on the other hand, I can manage all day long on the flat.  :)

tonyk

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #11 on: 13:29:02, 12/10/19 »
 Perhaps this should serve as a warning to those on here who stop to take photos and stroll along. ;)

 

Mel

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #12 on: 14:05:11, 12/10/19 »
 :D   :P



Is the search over if you find nothing?
https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.com/

WhitstableDave

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #13 on: 16:13:59, 12/10/19 »
As someone who naturally walks briskly, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the study.  :)

The BBC report originally mentioned 4m/s as the fastest walking speed in the tests, but that has now been corrected to 2m/s (about 4.45mph).

Leg length, body composition and other factors were taken into account (see report supplement).

Terrain is definitely mentioned - the tests were done using an electronic walkway!

pleb

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Re: Walking Speed an Indicator of Health?
« Reply #14 on: 11:06:05, 14/10/19 »
Well I am 47 tomorrow, slim as a rake, can get a move on, but a medical disaster!
So much for theories. ;D