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Has the Normal pace of Walking Changed over Time?

According to a 2007 study by the University of Hertfordshire and the British Council, people today walk 10% faster than they did 10 years ago. The study analyzed 30 different cities from around the world and discovered that an average pedestrian walks 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) per hour. A similar study was done in 1997 in which it was found that pedestrians walked an average of 2.97 to 3.27 miles (4.7 to 5.2 kilometers) per hour. This means that the average walking speed in cities have increased about 10% within a decade.

The walking rates measured by the study did vary from city to city. Pedestrians in Singapore, Copenhagen and Madrid walked the fastest. New York City surprisingly came in eighth on the list of cities with the speediest walkers. Pedestrians of the African country Malawi were discovered to walk the slowest among those observed in the study, about one third of the speed of those in Singapore.

Some experts are concerned about the increase of walking pace, considering it to be a measure for the pace of city life. They argue that faster living, high stress, poor diet and greater use of technology in metropolitan areas may increase the risk of health problems such as heart attacks.

More about people and fast living:

  • People on average spend 3 seconds to look at each picture at a gallery, compared to 10 seconds per picture several decades earlier.
  • Written communication on the internet and in text messages are becoming shorter as people abbreviate more to save time and effort.
  • People are observed to be more impatient than before, many considering a wait beyond 15 seconds as a waste of time.
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