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Walking Fast a Sign of Longer Life (7th January, 2011)


 

A newly-released study reveals that walking fast in your old age is a sign you will live a long life. The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed data from nine studies that involved 34,485 senior citizens. Participants in the research were regularly tested over a period of 21 years. The researchers looked at the relationship between walking speed in the over-65s and expected longevity. They concluded that the faster an older person can walk, the longer they can expect to live. Lead researcher Dr. Stephanie Studenski said: "It’s a real part of the human experience to see that when someone slows down with age, they may not be doing as well as they once were."

Dr. Studenski explained why an elderly person’s walking pace could be an indicator of a longer life. She said walking involves the use of many bodily functions working in tandem. The heart, lungs, skeletal system and joints, muscles, nerves and brain must all work together to ensure a smooth and consistent speed. Damage to any of these systems could result in walking more slowly, which could signal medical problems. Studenski said that walking speed was a better indicator of longevity than other factors, and that elders who walked at “one metre per second or higher consistently demonstrated survival that was longer than expected by age and sex alone”. She also suggested doctors look more carefully at slow-walking patients.


WARM-UPS

1. WALKING: Walk around the class and talk to other students about walking. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

studies / walking fast / old age / analyzing data / over-65s / longevity / experience / walking pace / bodily functions / muscles / the brain / medical problems / survival

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. OLD AGE: What will be different? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Differences

What are they?

Good or bad?

Walking

 

 

Free time

 

 

Family

 

 

Travel

 

 

Computer

 

 

English

 

 

4. GOLDEN YEARS: Students A strongly believe our old age is a time to look forward to; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. LONGEVITY: What helps most? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the most helpful at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • exercise
  • an active mind
  • happiness
  • healthy food
  • regular health checks
  • not smoking and drinking
  • living in the countryside
  • being near friends and family

6. PACE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘pace’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

The article says young people who walk fast live longer.

T / F

b.

Over 34,000 over-65s took part in the study reported in the article.

T / F

c.

People who walk fast can expect to live 21 years longer.

T / F

d.

The text says people who walk more slowly as they age are healthier.

T / F

e.

A doctor said bodily functions do not work together when we walk.

T / F

f.

We need our nerves when we walk.

T / F

g.

Old people who walk at a speed of 1 metre per second live longer.

T / F

h.

The doctor recommended other doctors check how older patients walk.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

reveals

a.

life span

2

analyzed

b.

recommended

3.

regularly

c.

together

4.

longevity

d.

frequently

5.

expect

e.

speed

6.

pace

f.

shows

7.

in tandem

g.

indicate

8.

consistent

h.

examined

9.

signal

i.

unchanging

10.

suggested

j.

look forward to

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

a sign you

a.

the over-65s

2

participants in the research were

b.

indicator of longevity

3.

walking speed in

c.

of a longer life

4.

someone slows

d.

walking patients

5.

they may not be doing as

e.

regularly tested

6.

walking pace could be an indicator

f.

and consistent speed

7.

bodily functions working

g.

down with age

8.

ensure a smooth

h.

will live a long life

9.

walking speed was a better

i.

in tandem

10.

look more carefully at slow-

j.

well as they once were

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

A newly-released study (1) ____________ that walking fast in your old age is a sign you will live a long life. The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed (2) ____________ from nine studies that involved 34,485 senior citizens. Participants in the research were (3) ____________ tested over a period of 21 years. The researchers looked at the relationship (4) ____________ walking speed in the over-65s and expected longevity. They concluded that the (5) ____________ an older person can walk, the longer they can (6) ____________ to live. Lead researcher Dr. Stephanie Studenski said: "It’s a real (7) ____________ of the human experience to see that when someone slows down with age, they may not be doing as (8) ____________ as they once were."

 

 

 

regularly
well
data
expect
faster
reveals
part
between

Dr. Studenski explained why an elderly person’s walking (9) ____________ could be an indicator of a longer life. She said walking involves the (10) ____________ of many bodily functions working in (11) ____________. The heart, lungs, skeletal system and joints, muscles, nerves and brain must all work together to ensure a smooth and (12) ____________ speed. Damage to any of these systems could result in walking more slowly, which could (13) ____________ medical problems. Studenski said that walking speed was a better indicator of longevity than other (14) ____________, and that elders who walked at “one metre per second or higher consistently demonstrated (15) ____________ that was longer than expected by age and (16) ____________ alone”. She also suggested doctors look more carefully at slow-walking patients.

 

 

signal
tandem
survival
sex
use
factors
pace
consistent

Thank you to Seyed for telling me to add the numbers :-)

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

A newly-________________________ walking fast in your old age is a sign you will live a long life. The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association ________________________ studies that involved 34,485 senior citizens. Participants in the research were ________________________ period of 21 years. The researchers looked at the relationship between walking speed in the over-65s and expected longevity. They ________________________ an older person can walk, the longer ________________________. Lead researcher Dr. Stephanie Studenski said: "It’s a real part of the human experience to see that when someone slows down with age, they ________________________ well as they once were."

Dr. Studenski explained why an elderly person’s ________________________ an indicator of a longer life. She said walking involves the use of many ________________________ in tandem. The heart, lungs, skeletal system and joints, muscles, nerves and brain must all work together ________________________ consistent speed. Damage to any of these systems could result in walking more slowly, which could signal medical problems. Studenski said that walking speed ________________________ of longevity than other factors, and that elders who walked at “one metre per second or higher consistently demonstrated survival that ________________________ by age and sex alone”. She also suggested doctors ________________________ slow-walking patients.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘long’ and ‘life’.

long

life

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • reveals
  • senior
  • 21
  • over
  • faster
  • slows
  • explained
  • in tandem
  • smooth
  • signal
  • metre
  • look

STUDENT WALKING SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about walking in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

WALKING DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘longevity’?

c)

Do you want to live to be really old?

d)

What does your walking speed tell you after reading this article?

e)

How important is going for a walk to you?

f)

What does your walking speed tell you about your character?

g)

Will you remember to walk quickly when you’re over 65?

h)

Do you think there is a connection between walking speed and longevity?

i)

Why would the speed at which you walk determine how long you live?

j)

Will you be telling your elderly relatives to get a move on when they walk?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think walking is a good form of exercise?

c)

Could you walk more instead of using elevators, escalators, cars…?

d)

What other things could determine longevity on over-65s?

e)

Would you get more things done if you walked faster?

f)

Where is the best place to go for a walk?

g)

Do kids walk enough these days?

h)

Is walking enjoyable?

i)

Should doctors now look at how fast their elderly patients walk?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Dr. Stephanie Studenski?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

A newly-released study reveals that walking fast (1) ____ your old age is a sign you will live a long life. The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed data from nine studies that (2) ____ 34,485 senior citizens. Participants in the research were regularly tested (3) ____ a period of 21 years. The researchers looked at the relationship between walking speed in the over-65s and (4) ____ longevity. They concluded that the faster an older person can walk, the longer they can expect (5) ____ live. Lead researcher Dr. Stephanie Studenski said: "It’s a real part of the human experience to see that when someone slows down with age, they may not be (6) ____ as well as they once were."

Dr. Studenski explained why an elderly person’s walking (7) ____ could be an indicator of a longer life. She said walking involves the use of many bodily functions working (8) ____ tandem. The heart, lungs, skeletal system and joints, muscles, (9) ____ and brain must all work together to ensure a smooth and consistent speed. Damage to any of these systems could result (10) ____ walking more slowly, which could signal medical problems. Studenski said that walking speed was a better indicator of longevity than other factors, and that elders who walked at “one metre (11) ____ second or higher consistently demonstrated survival that was longer than expected by age and sex (12) ____”. She also suggested doctors look more carefully at slow-walking patients.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

at

(b)

on

(c)

by

(d)

in

2.

(a)

involve

(b)

involved

(c)

involves

(d)

involving

3.

(a)

over

(b)

under

(c)

via

(d)

through

4.

(a)

expectation

(b)

expect

(c)

expected

(d)

expecting

5.

(a)

at

(b)

by

(c)

to

(d)

from

6.

(a)

having

(b)

doing

(c)

being

(d)

expecting

7.

(a)

pace

(b)

race

(c)

face

(d)

lace

8.

(a)

up

(b)

on

(c)

as

(d)

in

9.

(a)

nervous

(b)

nerves

(c)

nerve

(d)

nervousness

10.

(a)

on

(b)

at

(c)

of

(d)

in

11.

(a)

pre

(b)

rep

(c)

per

(d)

pro

12.

(a)

alone

(b)

lonely

(c)

loner

(d)

lonesome

WRITING

Write about walking for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about walking and longevity. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. WALKING: Make a poster about walking. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. OVER-65s: Write a magazine article about walking and the over-65s. Include imaginary interviews with older people who walk slowly and quickly.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on walking. Ask her/him three questions about walking. Tell him/her three things you could do to walk more and use transport less. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

F

d.

F

e.

F

f.

T

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

reveals

a.

shows

2

analyzed

b.

examined

3.

regularly

c.

frequently

4.

longevity

d.

life span

5.

expect

e.

look forward to

6.

pace

f.

speed

7.

in tandem

g.

together

8.

consistent

h.

unchanging

9.

signal

i.

indicate

10.

suggested

j.

recommended

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

a sign you

a.

will live a long life

2

participants in the research were

b.

regularly tested

3.

walking speed in

c.

the over-65s

4.

someone slows

d.

down with age

5.

they may not be doing as

e.

well as they once were

6.

walking pace could be an indicator

f.

of a longer life

7.

bodily functions working

g.

in tandem

8.

ensure a smooth

h.

and consistent speed

9.

walking speed was a better

i.

indicator of longevity

10.

look more carefully at slow-

j.

walking patients

GAP FILL:

Walking fast a sign of longer life

A newly-released study (1) reveals that walking fast in your old age is a sign you will live a long life. The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed (2) data from nine studies that involved 34,485 senior citizens. Participants in the research were (3) regularly tested over a period of 21 years. The researchers looked at the relationship (4) between walking speed in the over-65s and expected longevity. They concluded that the (5) faster an older person can walk, the longer they can (6) expect to live. Lead researcher Dr. Stephanie Studenski said: "It’s a real (7) part of the human experience to see that when someone slows down with age, they may not be doing as (8) well as they once were."

Dr. Studenski explained why an elderly person’s walking (9) pace could be an indicator of a longer life. She said walking involves the (10) use of many bodily functions working in (11) tandem. The heart, lungs, skeletal system and joints, muscles, nerves and brain must all work together to ensure a smooth and (12) consistent speed. Damage to any of these systems could result in walking more slowly, which could (13) signal medical problems. Studenski said that walking speed was a better indicator of longevity than other (14) factors, and that elders who walked at “one metre per second or higher consistently demonstrated (15) survival that was longer than expected by age and (16) sex alone”. She also suggested doctors look more carefully at slow-walking patients.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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