Men aged 70 years and above who walk at speeds of at least five km an hour can hope to keep death behind and live longer, according to an Australian study.
Researchers at Concord Hospital in Sydney analysed the walking patterns of 1,705 men aged 70 and over who were participating in the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project (CHAMP).
The men were recruited from January 2005 to June 2007.
Half the number of participants in the CHAMP study were born in Australia while 20 percent were born in Italy. The other countries of birth were Britain, Greece and China, according to a Concord statement.
A total of 266 deaths were observed during the follow-up. The results show that their average walking speed was 0.88 metres per second (mps). No men with walking speeds of 1.36 mps (five kmph) or above died.
The authors concluded that the results support their theory "that faster speeds are protective against mortality because fast walkers can maintain a safe distance from the Grim Reaper."