Being a slow walker doesn't just signify you enjoy a leisurely stroll. According to new research, walking with a slow gait could be a symptom of significant deficits in physical and cognitive health.


New findings from a longitudinal study of just over 900 New Zealanders that began back in the 1970s has found that people in their 40s who walk with a slow gait are more likely to show signs of accelerated biological ageing and compromised brain integrity.



"The thing that's really striking is that this is in 45-year-old people, not the geriatric patients who are usually assessed with such measures," says biomedical researcher Line J.H. Rasmussen from Duke University.

杜克大学的生物医学研究员Line J.H. Rasmussen说:“真正引人注意的是这是在45岁的人群中出现的问题,而不是通常用这些方法进行评估的老年患者。”

Rasmussen and fellow researchers examined participants from the Dunedin Study, an exceptionally long longitudinal health study that began almost five decades ago with a cohort of over 1,000 three-year-olds.


In new research assessing the health of 904 of the remaining participants at the age of 45, the team found walking speed at mid-life seems to offer a unique window into life-long ageing processes that go back all the way to childhood.


"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," says Duke psychologist and neuroscientist Terrie E. Moffitt.

杜克大学的心理学家和神经科学家Terrie E. Moffitt说:“这项研究涵盖了学前到中年的阶段,发现走路慢是一个在步入老年前几十年就出现的有问题的迹象。”