Singaporeans are fastest walkers in the world
May 7, 2007 - 1:35:15 PM

New York, May 7 - The speed at which city folk walk has increased by 10 percent in the last decade, with Singaporeans rated the most brisk walkers, says a new study.

In a sample of 32 cities around the world, Singaporeans came on top followed by citizens of Copenhagen, Madrid and Guangzhou in China.

New Yorkers, who take pride in walking a lot and walking fast, were at eighth place. No Indian city was included in the study.

But walking fast is not good for you, according to the study commissioned by British Council and headed by Richard Wiseman, a psychology professor at University of Hertfordshire near London.

Wiseman said: 'As people speed up in their lives, they are not eating properly, exercising or seeing friends and family. People who walk fast are also more likely to speak and eat quickly, wear a watch and get impatient. They don't like to sit still, sit in traffic or wait in queues.'

The study is part of Wiseman's new book 'Qurikology' about everyday issues in psychology such as whether women or men write better personal ads.

In the walking study, researchers in the 32 cities observed pedestrians one day around noon, local time, in August last year.

They recorded the time it took 35 men and women - who were not carrying packages or luggage, or walking with other people or talking on mobile telephones - walk along a 60 feet stretch of not-too-crowded pavement.

Singaporeans on an average clocked 10.55 seconds, Londoners - 12.17 seconds and Dubai residents - 14.64 seconds.

By comparing the results of his study to those in a similar 1994 experiment by Robert Levine, a psychology professor at California State University, Fresno, Wiseman concluded that the pace of urban life has increased by 10 percent.

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