Walking Speed – Is It a New Vital Sign?

Mobility can be defined as our ability to move freely and easily. As we age, our mobility impacts our lives in many ways, including our interactions with others, our financial independence, as well as our physical and mental health.

Many factors can affect mobility, such as the spaces where we live and work, our cultural backgrounds, the communities in which we live, and the services and supports available to us.

An important part of your mobility is your ability to walk, and how fast you walk can be an important indicator of your overall health.  Like your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and rate of breathing, there is evidence that your walking speed may be an important new vital sign.

To learn more about what walking speed is, how it changes as we age, how to measure it, and what steps you can take to improve it to improve your mobility and overall health, explore our latest e-learning lesson.

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DISCLAIMER: Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website