Does walking test predict life span? Study says yes

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The life span of an elderly person can be tied to his or her ability to walk a quarter-mile, according to new research.

Researchers at the University of Florida's Institute on Aging in Gainesville studied nearly 3,000 healthy people ages 70 to 79 and found that those who were able to complete a quarter-mile walking test in good time were three times as likely to live longer than elderly with a slow walking pace.

Furthermore, the study found that study participants with the faster walking times were much less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and physical disability as they aged than those who walked the slowest. In fact, participants with a slower walking pace had a three times greater risk of death and a higher risk of heart disease, limited mobility and disability than the fastest 25% of participants. Participants were tested every 6 months for nearly 5 years.