The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Are you walking faster than the grim reaper?

    Researchers at the University of Sydney, in Australia studied whether there was a relationship between slow walking speed and increased risk of death.

    First, the details.

    • 1705 elderly men participated.
    • Optimal walking speed was estimated.

    And, the results.

    • The average walking speed was 0.88 meters (2.9 feet) per second.
    • Survival analysis showed that older men who walked faster than 0.82 meters (2.7 feet) per second were 1.23 times significantly less likely to die than those who walked slower.
    • No men with walking speeds of 1.36 meters (4.46 feet) per second or greater had contact with Death.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “The grim reaper’s preferred walking speed is… 2 miles (about 3 km) per hour) under working conditions. As none of the men in the study with walking speeds of 1.36 meters per second (3 miles (about 5 km) per hour) or greater had contact with death, this seems to be the grim reaper’s most likely maximum speed; for those wishing to avoid their allotted fate, this would be the advised walking speed.”

    It’s an odd way of telling us that a walker’s goal — in terms of speed — should be at least 3 miles per hour.

    12/18/11 21:46 JR

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