News / Health

New Study Shows Fast Walking Speed Associated With Longer Life

Mazerine Wingate, 100 years old, has sharp eyesight, drives a car, still goes to work six days a week at a post office in the eastern state of Maryland, and advises it's important to keep moving, February 2011
Mazerine Wingate, 100 years old, has sharp eyesight, drives a car, still goes to work six days a week at a post office in the eastern state of Maryland, and advises it's important to keep moving, February 2011

Multimedia

Carol Pearson

People the world over are living longer, and now a new study shows who is likely to live the longest. The information could help doctors and others, including the elderly, plan goals for treatment and care.

Not many people who live to be 100 are still driving a car. But Mazerine Wingate is. His eyesight is still sharp, and not only that, he still goes to work six days a week at a post office in the eastern state of Maryland. He started his job as a janitor there when he was 60. And, you can find him keeping the post office spotlessly clean six days a week.

Wingate simply said, "I feel like working."

Wingate said he has no major health issues. Rob Parsell, the photographer who shot this interview, asked him for advice. Wingate's recommendation: "Keep moving.  Keep moving."

"That's it? Just keep moving?" Parsell pressed.

"Keep moving," Wingate replied.

While it is unusual for people of that age to hold down a job, it is becoming more and more common to reach the 100-year mark. Dr. Neil Buckholtz at the National Institute on Aging said long life is a concern for governments the world over.

"The population, not only in the United States, but worldwide, of older people is increasing," said Buckholtz. "And actually, the fastest-growing group of people in the United States are those people over 85."

A new study shows a relationship between fast walking and life expectancy. For this study, researchers looked at walking speed and other health factors for almost 35,000 older adults. They followed the participants for up to 20 years. Dr. Stephanie Studenski at the University of Pittsburgh led the study.

"Your walking speed is a reflection of just how well many of your body's systems are doing," noted Studenski.

By timing walking speed and using the longevity charts, doctors can provide better care for their patients. For example, most doctors don't screen patients older than 70 for prostate cancer. But if a man is otherwise healthy and energetic, and expected to live at least 10 more years, he might benefit from the screening. For those who are less healthy, doctors could look for ways to improve their health and quality of life.

Dr. Studenski says the charts, while good, however, are not always indicators of longevity. Some people in good health just prefer to walk slowly.

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid