A new study warned that people who walk slowly are four times more likely to die from the Corona virus, and about twice as likely to contract severe “Covid-19”.
University of Leicester researchers studied 412,596 UK Biobank participants in middle age and the relative relationship between body mass, walking speed and Covid-19.
The team discovered that those who walk slowly, but who have a normal weight, are 2.5 times more likely to develop severe “Covid-19”, compared to those who also have normal weight and walk quickly.
They also found that those who walked slowly were 3.75 times more likely to die due to the virus that has put most of the world in lockdown and led to the deaths of millions.
For the study, a slow walker was defined as a person moving at a speed of three miles (4.8 km) per hour, while a pedestrian who was moving at a speed of more than four miles (6.5 km) per hour.
While the cause of the results is still unclear, the researchers suggest that fast-walking people may have a healthy cardiovascular system, regardless of their weight.
All the data came from the UK Biobank, which is a large, long-running study of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure that began in 2006.
Tom Yates, lead researcher on the study and professor of physical activity, sedentary behavior and health at the University of Leicester, said that obesity and weakness have already been proven to be the “main risk factors” for the results of “Covid-19”.
He added: “This is the first study to show that those who walk slowly have a much higher risk of developing severe Covid-19, regardless of weight.”
It is noteworthy that the risk was uniformly high in those who walked slowly and were of normal weight or who were obese, according to the team behind the study.
As the pandemic continues to place unprecedented pressure on healthcare services and communities, identifying the individuals most at risk and taking preventive measures to protect them is critical.
“My view is that public health studies and ongoing research monitoring should consider incorporating simple measures of fitness such as self-reported walking speed in addition to BMI as potential risk indicators for COVID-19,” Yates noted. Doing so could, ultimately, lead to Empowering better preventive ways that save lives. “
The researchers noted a number of limitations to their study, saying that although self-reported walking speed has been shown to be associated with cardiorespiratory fitness within the UK Biobank, it is subject to potential reporting bias.
They indicated that given this, definitive causal conclusions could not be drawn from their findings.
Source: Daily Mail