Researchers have uncovered a genetic link between walking at a brisk pace and biological age, New Atlas reports.
It notes that the University of Leicester-led team previously reported that a 10-minute brisk walk each day could increase life expectancy by three years. In their new study, which was published in Communications Biology on Thursday, the researchers have now examined leukocyte telomere length among more than 405,000 UK Biobank participants in relation to self-reported walking speed. Leukocyte telomere length, they note, is a marker of biological age.
They found that faster walking pace was associated with longer leukocyte telomere length and further noted that a Mendelian randomization analysis suggested the causal link was between walking pace and telomere length, rather than the reverse.
"This suggests measures such as a habitually slower walking speed are a simple way of identifying people at greater risk of chronic disease or unhealthy aging, and that activity intensity may play an important role in optimizing interventions," first author Paddy Dempsey from Leicester says in a statement.