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Older people walk more slowly because of muscle-related changes

Walking

Healthy older people walk more slowly and with less efficient use of energy than younger people.

Walking performance measured in terms of efficiency – how far one can travel per calorie of consumption – and walking speed decline as people get older.

This decline in walking performance leads to a less active lifestyle and reduces quality of life.

Reduced activity worsens health and is directly linked to a lower ten-year survival rate for people at age 75.

It is important to understand the physiology behind changes in walking pace so that appropriate interventions can be introduced. However, it is difficult to pinpoint the cause because ageing produces a range of physiological changes that affect the way people walk.

This study drew on computer simulations to examine the effect of changes to

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