People who walk above four miles per hour are less at risk of developing cancer compared to slower walkers, new research reveals.

A study from the University of Leicester has also found that brisk walkers are less likely to have a heart attack compared to those who walk at a slower pace.

More than 391,000 middle-aged adults took part in the experiment by self-reporting whether they walk at a slow, average or brisk pace.

According to the findings, approximately 52% of the participants walked at an average pace and 40.8% fell in the brisk category after admitting to walking faster than four miles per hour.

Meanwhile, only 6.6% of the participants self-reported that they were slow walkers, the study has identified.

The team of researchers analysed the participants for approximately 13 years, where they recorded 22,000 deaths.

They found that females who walk faster than four miles per hour are 26% less at risk of dying from cancer compared to women who walk below three miles per hour.

Males who walk briskly are 29% less likely to die from cancer compared to men who walk at a slower pace, the results have revealed.

Senior researcher Dr Jonathan Goldney said: “A faster walking pace could boost cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) – how well the body takes in oxygen and delivers it to muscles and organs during exercise.”

Experts have said CRF can combat the development of heart disease, as well as preventing the occurrence of heart attacks and strokes.

Adults are advised to take part in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.

Brisk walking for ten minutes per day counts towards the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.

The NHS said: “Walking is one of the easiest ways to get active, lose weight and stay healthy, as it can build stamina, burn calories and make the heart healthier.”

Read the study in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.

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