Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The World's fastest walkers

So it seems that Singapore is number one again-- in walking. A study conducted by the British Council tells us that Singaporeans rank 1st in walking speeds.

Pedestrians all over the world are moving faster than a decade ago, according to scientists who have conducted a study into the pace at which people walk.

Psychologists say walking speeds have increased by an average of 10 percent in the past 10 years.

People in the greatest hurry live in Singapore, according to the study of cities in 32 countries. Following in their footsteps are residents of Copenhagen in Denmark and Madrid in Spain.

Researchers in each city found a busy street with a wide pavement that was flat, free from obstacles and sufficiently uncrowded to allow people to walk at their maximum speed.

The speed of each city's walkers was then timed by a team researchers, armed with stopwatches.

They timed how long it took 35 men and women to walk along a 60-foot (18-meter) stretch of pavement, monitoring only adults who were on their own and ignoring those conducting mobile phone conversations or struggling with shopping bags.

The results of the study, headed by British psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, were compared with similar results from a decade ago in an experiment carried out by American psychologist Professor Robert Levine, from California State University.

Wiseman said walking speeds provided a reliable measure of the pace of life in a city.

"This simple measurement provides a significant insight into the physical and social health of a city. The pace of life in our major cities is now much quicker than before. This increase in speed will affect more people than ever, because for the first time in history the majority of the world's population are now living in urban center," Wiseman said.

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