A study has found that those who walk slowly are up to four times more likely to die from COVID-19.

COVID-19 has changed the world, as lockdowns have been put in place and travel bans have been put in place. Many have been waiting patiently to rejoin society when it is safe, but new research has outlined a specific group that is at risk; slow walkers.

The deadly pandemic has led to various research about how viruses spread, and interestingly a study has found that your walking speed plays a part in the likeliness of falling ill with coronavirus.

The project conducted by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Leicester Biomedical Research Centre collected data from over 400,000 middle-aged people. Lead researcher Professor Tom Yates claimed that the researchers hoped that self-reported walking pace could help predict whether subjects had an increased risk of catching the coronavirus. The data collected did in fact reveal a correlation between walking speed and COVID fatalities.

The research used self-reported data from 412,596 people who participate in UK Biobank, a biomedical database and research study. To gauge what was slow-walking the researchers came up with specific parameters. Slow walking was the label for a pace that was less than 3 miles per hour while a normal pace was between 3 and 4 miles per hour. Consequently, any speed of 4 miles per hour was regarded as quick walking. Using this categorisation the research found shocking information.

The research concluded that slow walkers are 2.5 times more likely to develop severe Covid-19. As a result of this data, the study has suggested that some of the health reasons for walking slowly may coincide with severe cases of the virus. Professor Tom Yates explained, “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.”

Yates added, “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.”

Naturally, with the data being self-reported, the findings may not be completely accurate. With that said, this initial data has shown an interesting correlation between walking slowly and getting the virus.

It’s worth noting that you can’t outrun the coronavirus, but those who have a tendency to walk slowly may want to be extra careful after this study has found that they are likely to be at an increased risk of serious illness.

The full findings of the study can be found in the International Journal of Obesity.

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