A study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) examined the walking speed of older adults to see how it affected their life expectancy. The study analyzed the results of nine other scientific studies as well.
All nine studies combined together totaled more than 34,000 senior adults, 65 years of age and older. Their average age was 73. Sixty percent were women, and 80% were white. This group was followed for 6 to 21 years. In all the studies there were 17,528 deaths.
Researchers measured walking speed at the beginning of the study, by timing subjects at their normal, comfortable walking pace for a distance of about 13 feet.
Normal walking requires teamwork in the body starting with the muscles, bones, and joints. Its also a workout of the heart, lungs, and circulation, coordinated by nerves and the brain.