Do Slow Walkers Live Shorter Lives?


Two of my favorite studies from 2019 examined walking speed.

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Both studies compared…

People who walk slowly VS those who walk at a brisk pace.

  • The first study found that slow walkers looked older for their age and had smaller brains.
  • The second study found slow walking was correlated with a shorter lifespan.

We will look at these studies in more detail in a second.

But first, I wanted to throw in some cool music videos. The music theme for this post is simply outstanding live performances.

Let’s look into walking speed in more detail.

Before I begin, I want you to think about something.

Do you know of anyone who is obese and who is also a fast walker?

Probably not.

I’m not saying that walking speed causes people to be slim.


Fast walking and staying slim DO seem to be correlated.

I know slim people who are slow walkers, but these are typically younger people who are naturally slim.

If you continue to walk at a slow pace as you get older, it seems that the weight catches up to you.

This leads me to the first study titled:

Slower Walkers Have Older Brains and Bodies at 45

Short summary:

“Slower walkers were shown to have accelerated aging on a 19-measure scale devised by researchers, and their lungs, teeth and immune systems tended to be in worse shape than the people who walked faster.”

It seems that aging begins accelerating at an earlier age than we once thought.

“This study covered the period from the preschool years to midlife, and found that a slow walk is a problem sign decades before old age.”

slow walk small brain

Slow walkers also have smaller brains on average.

“MRI exams during their last assessment showed the slower walkers tended to have lower total brain volume.”

I don’t discriminate on walking speed, but…

The majority of my good friends are all pretty fast walkers.

I feel like people who walk slowly have a different personality type. It’s like the thinking and decision making is slow to go along with the slow walking.

I’m not trying to pick on slow walkers TOO hard.

I’ve just been irritated in large crowds when people are waddling along and blocking my path.

Please move aside.

Smart people need to get by!

Let’s talk about that second study.

This one is titled:

Comparative Relevance of Physical Fitness and Adiposity on Life Expectancy

This study looked at 475,000 participants.

  • Life expectancy for slow walkers 64 for men and 72 for women.
  • Life expectancy for fast walkers was around 87 for both men and women.

People who walk fast live up to 15 to 20 years longer than slow walkers.


Fast walking is correlated with a long life.

We aren’t sure if it is the cause of a long life.

My guess is that people who walk quickly also tend to be more active overall and are more likely to pay attention to diet, etc.

We know that exercise helps with cognitive function as people age.

Daily walking is a health-habit that I’ve incorporated into my routine a few years back.

I decided to do this after examining the longest living populations on the planet… they typically walk daily.

I like to walk for at least 30 minutes and do so at a speed of 4.3 MPH at a 1.5 incline.

setting up treadmill

The exact numbers aren’t important.

I recommend building up your walking speed to a brisk pace and track it year-to-year to make sure it doesn’t decline.

The nice thing about using a treadmill is that you can track speed with precision.

This is tough to do if you only walk outside.

I don’t think 4.3 MPH is a magic number.

I would say somewhere in the range of 3.5 MPH to 4.5 MPH depending upon age, height, etc.

If you have an injury or physical disability this doesn’t apply to you.

Just do your best with your particular circumstances.

What about guys who purposely walk slowly to project an “Alpha” presence?

This stuff drives me nuts.

Young guys are taught to “take up space” and move slowly to give off Alpha vibes (or some nonsense like that).

If you are trying to be alpha in this way…

You may be fine with a shrinking brain and a shorter lifespan.

Possibly slow movement impresses the ladies?

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For 15 years I've helped fashion models get lean for photoshoots. Use my plan to Lose 5-10 pounds of PURE body fat in 14 days.

Please just stay out of the way.


-Rusty Moore

As a former fitness coach to fashion models, I can teach you how to increase muscle definition without adding size.

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