Researchers say people who walk slowly at the age of 45 may age faster. Slow walkers in their forties and fifties could get older more quickly than faster walkers. This could make people physically and mentally older. Walking speed could help doctors understand more about the health problems older people have. Doctors already know that older people who walk slowly are more likely to have health problems. They wanted to find out if this was the same for younger people. A researcher said: "Doctors know that slow walkers in their 70s and 80s tend to die sooner than fast walkers their same age."
The researchers looked at the data of 904 people. The people had records of health checks from throughout their lives. Some records went back to when the people were three years old. The researchers looked at how quickly people could calculate things and how good their memory was as well as their intelligence. Researchers did tests on the participants at different walking speeds. The participants had to say the alphabet while walking at a normal and fast speed. The people who walked more slowly showed less brain activity in brain scans while saying the alphabet.