That extra pep in your step may end up meaning a much longer life — sorry, straight people!
Researchers spoke to 474,919 people in the UK and found that those who regularly walk faster had a much longer life expectancy, including when accounting for other factors, including weight. In fact, fast walkers reported longer life expectancies across all weight classes in both men and women. Fast walkers had a life expectancy range of 86.7 years to 87.8 years in women and 85.2 to 86.8 years in men. (The study, unfortunately, was binary and didn’t say how or whether they counted gender nonconforming or nonbinary people.) Those average life expectancies were about 15 years higher than the life expectancy for slow-walking women and 20 years higher than slow-walking men.
One of the best parts of this result, according to researchers, was that it actually showed that something like how fast you could walk means way more than a metric like body mass index, which persists in being used even though it’s basically been debunked as helpful at all.
“Our findings could help clarify the relative importance of physical fitness compared to body weight on life expectancy of individuals,” lead researchers and professor Tom Yates said. “In other words, the findings suggest that perhaps physical fitness is a better indicator of life expectancy than body mass index (BMI), and that encouraging the population to engage in brisk walking may add years to their lives.”
Anyway, enjoy that brisk walk on the way to go get iced coffee. We will live forever!!