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Study Suggests Slow Walkers Are Four Times More Likely To Die From Covid-19

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Study Suggests Slow Walkers Are Four Times More Likely To Die From Covid-19

A new study has highlighted why people should be a little faster on their feet amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The research, done by researchers based in Leicester, has suggested people who walk slowly are up to four times more likely to die from Covid-19, compared to a regular or fast-paced walker.

No one likes to be stuck behind a slow walker, especially when you've got somewhere to be. But now you have a reason to speed them up.

The team looked at health data from more than 400,000 people and discovered the strange health trend.

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The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre wanted to see if there was a link between body mass index (BMI) and someone's self-reported walking pace.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Once they established the link between those two areas, they set out to see whether there was an increased or a decreased risk of getting coronavirus, and the impact of the symptoms.

If you're wondering what category you fit into, then let us explain.

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Slow walkers are those who like to trod around at less than three miles (4.8km) per hour. Your average paced walkers set a pace of three to four miles (6.4km) per hour, and the fast walkers go anything above four miles per hour.

People who were on the slow walking category were found to be 2.5 times more likely to develop severe Covid-19 symptoms and require hospitalisation, compared to those in the fast category. The results climbed based on the person's BMI.

The one snag that researchers admitted to in their study was the issue on self-reporting your walking pace.

The data was subject to 'possible reporting bias', according to the BBC, and therefore 'no definitive causal conclusions could be derived from the results'.

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But the researchers who conducted the study are impressed with the results.

Lead researcher, Professor Tom Yates, a specialist in physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health at the University of Leicester, said: "We know already that obesity and frailty are key risk factors for Covid-19 outcomes.

"This is the first study to show that slow walkers have a much higher risk of contracting severe Covid-19 outcomes, irrespective of their weight.

"Ongoing public health and research surveillance studies should consider incorporating simple measures of physical fitness such as self-reported walking pace in addition to BMI, as potential risk predictors of Covid-19 outcomes."

Featured Image Credit: ABC

Topics: News

Stewart Perrie
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