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Faster walking associated with longer telomeres, could improve health and lifespan


Key points from article :

Study used data from approximately 400,000 people in the UK Biobank.

Association between self-reported walking pace and the telomere length of specific white blood cells known as leukocytes.

The participants were an average of 56.5 years old, with a mean BMI of 27.2. 54% of the participants were female, and 95% were white.

Statistical differences were seen between the slow, average, and brisk walkers.

The average and brisk walkers had significantly longer telomere lengths than the slow walkers.

Genomic analysis showed walking pace casually associated with telomere length.

Though Mendelian randomization can help determine causality, such results should be interpreted with caution.

Lifestyle factors affect telomere length, the study concludes.

Research by University of Leicester, led by Tom Yate and Nilesh J. Samani, published in Nature Communications.

Fast-paced walkers have telomeres with longer lengths compared to slow walkers

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Journal covering all topics in physics, chemistry, and biology.


Professor of Cardiology at University of Leicester.


Professor of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Health at University of Leicester.


UK Biobank is a national and international health resource registered as a charity in Scotland


Public research university for UK and international students