COVID-19: Slow walkers 'more likely to die' of virus, says study

In a worring state amid the COVID-19, a study reveals that Slow walkers are almost four times more likely to die from the novel coronavirus and have over twice the risk of contracting a severe version of the virus. According to a team of researchers from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) led by Professor Tom Yates at the University of Leicester in its study report titled "Obesity, walking pace and risk of severe COVID-19 and mortality: analysis of UK Biobank" it says, Obesity is an emerging risk factor for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).

For the study, the researchers examined samples and concluded slow walkers with "normal" weight were 3.75 times more likely to die from the virus than brisk walkers.

For the research, data was collected from more than 400,000 middle-aged people. 412,596 people who participated in the study and self-reported inputs to UK Biobank, a biomedical database and research study. "Self-reported walking pace could be used to predict whether someone was at higher risk from the virus," said Prof Tom Yates.

The study, run by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, was designed to explore links between body mass index (BMI) and self-reported walking pace with the risk of contracting severe Covid-19 and mortality.

As per a BBC report, slow walking was considered to be at a speed of slower than three miles (4.8km) per hour, steady/average speed was three to four miles (6.4km) per hour, and brisk at more than four miles per hour. The risk was uniformly high in normal weight slow walkers and slow walkers with obesity.

However, the research had some limitations as the data on walking pace was collected from individuals' own volition and not as a part of gathering statistics by monitoring the patients involved. Although, researchers noted that self-reported walking pace was subject to possible reporting bias and therefore no definitive causal conclusions could be derived from the results.

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