Your Walking Speed Can Tell You How Fast You're Aging
If your stride has slowed down in your forties, you may be aging faster than you realize. That's the result of a new study, which found that your walking speed at age 45 can be an indicator of your physical and neurological aging.
While previous research has already found a link between an older person's gait and their health, the new study, published this week in JAMA Network Open, specifically looked at hundreds of 45-year-olds to get a much deeper sense of what walking speed reveals about aging.
雖然先前的研究已經發現老年人的步態與他們的健康有關，但本周發表在美國醫學會雜志開放網絡（JAMA Network Open）上的這項新研究具體調查了數百名45歲的受試者，以深入了解走路速度與衰老之間的關系。
"How fast people are walking in midlife tells us a lot about how much their bodies and brains have aged over time," lead author Line Jee Hartmann Rasmussen, a postdoctoral fellow who researches aging at Duke University, tells Health. Gait speed seems to be not only an indicator of aging, but also an indicator of lifelong brain health, adds Rasmussen.
“步入中年時，一個人的走路快慢在很大程度上反映了他/她的身體和大腦的衰老情況，”研究的主要作者Line Jee Hartmann Rasmussen（杜克大學一名研究衰老過程的博士后）對《健康》雜志說道。走路快慢似乎并不止是衰老的指標，而且也是大腦終身健康的指標，Rasmussen補充道。
In the study, researchers examined more than 40 years of data collected from over 1,000 New Zealanders born between 1972 and 1973.
Starting at the age of three, each study participant was assessed by a pediatric neurologist, who measured everything from intelligence and language/motor skills to emotional and behavioral regulation. After that, each had their health regularly assessed and examined and underwent interviews every few years.
At the age of 45, researchers measure the gait speed of 904 participants using a simple test. The researchers also looked at how quickly they were aging, based on 19 health markers including body mass index, blood pressure, and cholesterol level. Additionally, they conducted the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV test, did a brain MRI, and rated facial aging.
After analyzing the data, they compared those participants with the slowest average gait—around 3.9 feet per second—to people with the highest, averaging at about 5.7 feet per second. The results led researchers to an important conclusion: slow gait was associated with "poor physical function at midlife,"