Science Says Slow Walkers Have More To Worry About Besides Everyone Hating Them

by Imani Brammer

When you have places to be and deadlines to meet, the last thing you need is someone slowly strolling in front of you on the street. As a native New Yorker, I speak for all the speedy walkers of this city when I say slow walkers are the bane of our very packed agendas. If you're one of these infuriatingly slow walkers who obstructs the busy flow of life, I'm sorry to inform you that you guys actually have a little more to worry about besides people like me hating your existence. New research says slow walkers are at risk of dying from heart disease.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Leicester, how slowly you walk could affect your heart health, and it may subsequently increase your risk of dying from heart disease at a young age.

In the study, researchers followed more than 420,000 people over a six-year period to examine the speed of their usual stroll and assess their death rates, as well.

The findings showed that those who identified as being slow walkers were found to be between 1.8 and 2.4 times more likely to die of heart disease during the six-year time period than rapid-paced walkers.

However, the researchers believe this may be due to a possible correlation between speedy walkers and active lifestyles.

According to their hypothesis, people who tend to walk at a faster pace are more physically fit and more likely to exercise than slow walkers. Therefore, fast walkers are better protected against things like high blood pressure, obesity, and sedentary lifestyles -- all of which are potential causes of heart disease.

If you are one of these aloof walkers who stroll like the world is legitimately in slow motion, then maybe you can't help it, and you genuinely prefer not to rush your life along. As a native Manhattan woman, I don't really get that, but hey, I'm not here to judge.

However, given the pretty real threat of heart disease in this case, you may want to add a bit more activity into your life. I mean, it can't hurt, right?

No one says you have to become a marathon runner overnight. There are plenty of everyday, casual ways to spice up your life with a bit of sweat and movement.

For one, stay away from escalators and elevators. If you see a very long staircase, then use that very long staircase as an opportunity to take your very long walk. Minute things like climbing the steps rather than taking a joy ride on an escalator can gradually make a huge difference in your life.

You can also look into 10-minute power exercises, which, I promise you, are really fun — I do them all the time. Regardless of how busy you are, I'm willing to bet you can find 10 minutes in your day to commit to your health.

Another way to ensure you get more activity in your life? If you take public transportation, get off a stop or two early. That's about 10 to 20 extra minutes of walking you just factored into your life, just by getting off the train a little earlier than usual. And don't worry, if you don't want to walk fast, you don't have to (I guess *sigh*), but at least you're moving more, right? That's the ultimate goal here.

Slow and steady usually wins the race, but when it comes to your heart health, you really have to put in some extra movement to do what's best for your body.