Studies have shown that the habit of brisk walking can add up to 20 years to a life span, as compared to those with a slow walking pace. One explanation might be because of a younger biological age of fast walkers, due to increased telomere length. Telomeres are the end caps on chromosomes that protect them from degradation.
Researchers examined genetic and wearable activity tracking device data from 405,981 middle aged participants in the UK Biobank and discovered that walking at a faster pace, no matter how long one walked, was associated with longer telomeres.
Takeaway: A brisk walking pace is likely to improve health and enhance longevity via the protection of telomeres.
Well-being is a journey, not a quick fix
Dempsey, P. et al., Investigation of a UK Biobank Cohort Reveals Causal Associations of Self-Reported Walking Pace with Telomere Length, 5 Communications Biology Article 381, Apr 20, 2022, Investigation of a UK biobank cohort reveals causal associations of self-reported walking pace with telomere length.