The Fast LaneWhy speed is of the essence.

The Fast LaneWhy speed is of the essence.

  • Words Alice Vincent
  • Photograph Sarah Van Rij

The way we walk has fascinated scientists for decades. Anyone who has seen a baby take its first steps knows how complex it is for humans to walk on two legs, even if most of us do it every day without thinking. As well as increasing our understanding of this feat of biomechanics, recent research has shown that the speed we walk can be indicative of certain lifestyle trends: Those who walk fast tend to live longer, for example, and are better able to recover after a stroke.1

We are all, however, walking faster than we used to: In 2007, academics at the University of Hertfordshire studied pedestrians in 34 cities around the world and found that the average walking rate had increased by 10% since the mid-’90s. Singaporeans were the speediest, managing 60 feet in 10.55 seconds, with walk...

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