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Researchers: Gait speed says a lot about health
The speed of walking can indicate our risk of death and how our health is structured. This has recently been discovered by US scientists from the University of Southern California in studies. In the course of the research work it became clear that the faster we walk every day, the better our health is.
Indicators of health status
To check a person's state of health, doctors use measures such as measuring blood pressure or determining the body mass index (BMI). US researchers are now reporting that adding another indicator could also be helpful: measuring how fast you go. The gait speed could even provide information about the risk of death.
Assess the risk of cardiovascular diseases
"A really strong predictor of mortality is gait speed," said Christina M. Dieli-Conwright of the University of Southern California (USC) in a statement.
Studies have shown that the faster the pace, the better the health outcomes. Conversely, it can be an indication of illness if the gait slows down particularly sharply.
Heart surgeons, in a paper in the JAMA magazine, advocated using gait speed as a way to identify patients who have difficulty recovering from surgery.
In addition, according to the USC, there are indications that this can also be used to assess the risk of cardiovascular diseases and disorders of the central nervous system.
Researchers use gait speed as a marker
While doctors are not yet using gait speed as a marker, researchers like Dieli-Conwright do.
She is currently researching how exercise can affect results for breast cancer survivors, and gait speed is a point her team is monitoring.
"The idea is that the more ill someone gets - whether through cancer treatment or another illness - the more they lose strength and mobility," said the scientist.
"Imagine when someone hasn't exercised at all. You are more affected by chemotherapy. ”
This can lead to cancer patients having difficulty walking to the toilet and often barely getting out of bed.
Determine a person's biological age
As the JAMA magazine says, doctors could use gait speed to determine a person's biological age, which may be younger or older than their chronological age.
However, the USC communication also points out that there is no evidence that increasing the speed reduces the likelihood of developing diseases and premature death.
In conclusion, Dieli-Conwright pointed out the importance of walking, regardless of age. “Something as simple as a hiking program can help maintain overall health,” says the researcher. (ad)