Want to live longer? Keep up a good pace when you walk and greet your friends with a strong, firm  handshake, says a new study by British experts.

Researchers at University College London have found that people who walk fast are almost three times less likely to die early than those who have a slower pace; and those with strong grip are one-and-a half times more likely to live longer than people with a weak hold.

The researchers came to the conclusion on an analysis of 33 researchers involving more than 50,000 men and women who were mostly over 70, the Daily Express reported on Friday.

The study has suggested simple physical tests could help doctors detect patients who are becoming frail long before they become ill or have an accident. Moreover, it may be possible to spot and help patients long before they suffer any injury, according to the researchers.

“Simple non-invasive assessment measures could help doctors identify those most vulnerable to poor health in later life and who may benefit from early intervention to keep them active for longer.”

“We think screening elderly people for such fundamental physical activities as walking, shaking hands, or getting in and out of a chair could be used as a simple and inexpensive tool to monitor their health.” Rachel Cooper, who led the study, was quoted as saying

However the researchers have called for more research into whether grip strength and walking but lengthens life.

“Ultimately, trials will be needed to determine whether interventions aimed at improving physical capability are effective at improving capability and as a consequence are effective at reducing morbidity and morality,” she said.

“Research that helps people to enjoy a long and healthy life is ever more important to help cater for an aging population”, Cooper was quoted as saying.

The findings have been published in the latest edition of the British Medical Journal.


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