How fast are you walking?

March 17, 2020 – As we are living in an uncertain world and the healthcare system becomes more and more strained and consumed with the COVID-19 virus, it is important that we do our part to ensure we aren’t putting extra strain on hospitals and nursing homes. One of the biggest causes of hospital and nursing home admissions are falls and the cascading of other health problems they can create.

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Most of us think that if we take our time and walk slower that it can help us avoid falling, but this is not correct. Did you know that you if you walk slower than 0.60 m/s you are more likely to fall. A test at home you can do is to mark out a 3 meter course (about 10 feet) and time yourself. You should be able to walk from start to finish in under 5 seconds. If you cannot do this safely, then you need to seek treatment to help you increase your gait speed.

Appropriate and safe gait speed are:

  • 1.3 m/s to climb stairs
  • 1.1 m/s to do yard work
  • 0.9 m/s for household activities
  • 0.67 m/s for activities of daily living such as showering and dressing
  • Less than 0.60 m/s leads to an increased likelihood of hospitalizations or longer stays in a skilled nursing facility

If you have concerns about how fast or safely you are walking please contact us at 402-234-3333 in Louisville or 402-298-4747 in Plattsmouth.

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Your Witte Physical Therapy Team

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