Yes, there is growing evidence that faster walking speed is linked with longevity, irrespective of body weight.
A study published in the journal "JAMA Internal Medicine" in 2011 found that older adults who walked at a faster pace were less likely to die during the following 10 years than those who walked at a slower pace. The study included over 1,700 adults aged 65 and older who were followed for an average of 10 years. The researchers found that those who walked at a pace of 1.0 meters per second or faster were 36% less likely to die during the study period than those who walked at a pace of 0.6 meters per second or slower.
Another study, published in the journal "Nature Medicine" in 2014, found that older adults who walked at a faster pace had longer telomeres. Telomeres are caps at the end of chromosomes that protect them from damage. As cells divide, telomeres shorten. When telomeres become too short, cells can no longer divide and die. The researchers found that older adults who walked at a pace of 1.2 meters per second or faster had telomeres that were 10% longer than those who walked at a pace of 0.8 meters per second or slower.
These studies suggest that faster walking speed may be a marker of good health and longevity. Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be done by people of all ages and fitness levels. It is a great way to improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles and bones, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
If you are looking for ways to improve your health and longevity, walking is a great place to start. Aim to walk at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. If you are not used to walking, start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you walk each day. You can also talk to your doctor about other ways to improve your health and longevity.