New research shows that people who walk more slowly at the age of 45 may be more likely to age faster. Scientists said that slower walkers who are in their forties and fifties could get older more quickly than faster walkers. This ageing could be both physically and mentally. The scientists said walking speed could help doctors understand more about the age-related health problems that people have. Doctors already knew that older people who walked slowly were more likely to have health problems. They wanted to find out if this was the same for younger people. Researcher Terrie Moffitt said: "Doctors know that slow walkers in their 70s and 80s tend to die sooner than fast walkers their same age."
The researchers conducted a study and looked at test data of 904 people. The people in the tests had medical records of health checks from throughout their lives. For some participants, these records went back to when they were three years old. The researchers used data on the intelligence of the participants. They looked at how quickly people could calculate things and how good their memory was. They also did tests on the participants at different walking speeds. The scientists asked the participants to say the alphabet while walking at a normal speed and fast speed. They scanned the participants' brains and found that people who walked more slowly showed less brain activity while saying the alphabet.