Scientific American has an article online with the title Walking Speed Predicts Life Expectancy of Older Adults. I seem to be unable to post a link – here it is to be copied and pasted: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=walking-speed-survival
From the Article:
A new analysis of walking speed studies shows that—down to the tenth of a meter per second—an older person’s pace, along with their age and gender, can predict their life expectancy just as well as the complex battery of other health indicators.
So instead of a doctor assessing a patient’s blood pressure, body mass index, chronic conditions, hospitalization and smokinghistory and use of mobility aids to estimate survival, a lab assistant could simply time the patient walking a few meters and predict just as accurately the person’s likelihood of living five or 10 more years—as well as a median life expectancy.
My mother has always been a fast walker and this is heartening news for a son who lives too far away.