Study says slow walking is a sign of premature aging

A recent study in New Zealand found that the walking speed of 45-year-olds may give indications of the aging rate of their bodies. People who walk slower would show a higher rate of aging, while those who move faster would be in better shape and would age more slowly.

The long-term study was conducted with 904 people from Dunedin, New Zealand. They had all been born in the same year.

Study Findings

Study participants were tested throughout their lifetime, which allowed current researchers to collect interesting data. Cognitive tests applied to people at the age of three could predict who would walk slowly, all from data such as IQ and motor coordination.

Slow walking participants today show signs of accelerated aging. His teeth, lungs, and immune system were in worse shape.

In addition, the surface area and brain volume were smaller. There were fewer dense areas and more small brain vein lesions, indicating accelerated aging. Interestingly, in a visual test with photographs, the slower ones also seemed to be older.

(Source: Pixabay)

Predictability and applications

Individual habits were taken into account, however, what struck the researchers is the possibility of early age prediction. Gait tests, which calculate walking speed and its health implications, are generally applied to older people. And the results were known from an early age, around three years.

The study paves the way for scientists to look for ways to predict future health conditions in early childhood and slow down early aging. Treatments such as low-calorie diets and drugs such as metformin can reduce the rate of aging in people with a high rate.

Another positive point is that once people are informed of their aging rates, people can choose to have healthy habits while they are young.