Walkin’ in Malawi

A few weeks ago I wrote about time management in Malawi. Today’s paper had this interesting article that sheds some light on how laid back Malawians really are. I guess this partially explains the approach to time management in Malawi…

Malawians ranked world slowest walkers

research By NYASA TIMES

Published: March 8, 2011

A recent international survey of walking speeds in major cities found that people in Malawi are quite slow walkers and medical researchers say people who walk slowly are about three times more likely to die from heart disease than those who walk faster. In the survey of walking, researchers found that whereas a Tokyoite takes an average of 12.83 seconds to walk 60 feet, residents of the Malawian commercial capital Blantyre take 31.60 seconds.

According to the ranking Singapore were top followed by Denmark’s Copenhagen and Spain’s Madrid. Malwi was ranked slowest walkers in the world. Malawi was compared to Japan in the walking survey. “When crossing the street, everyone is quite slow. One can really see the difference when you compare it with footage of a Japanese crosswalk,” said the report. “Malawians have great difficulty walking on a treadmill set to the average Japanese walking speed. “ The researchers said slw walking was not a “big deal” in Malawi since people in the country “don’t stress over hurrying up or waiting for things.”

And a medical research published online in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), says walking slowly is ‘strongly associated’ with an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. The authors, from the University Pierre and Marie Curie in France, found a link between cardiovascular deaths and walking speed even when factors likely to influence the results were taken into account. They wrote: “Participants in the lowest third of walking speed had a 44 per cent increased risk of death compared with those in the upper thirds. “With regard to specific causes of death, participants in the lowest third of walking speed had about a threefold increased risk of cardiovascular death, while no relation was found with cancer mortality.”–(Reporting by Judith Moyo, Nyasa Times)


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3 responses to “Walkin’ in Malawi

  1. Nancy

    These “experts” seem to be encouraging Malawians to add stress to their lives by speeding up! I’d love to read a report on the health benefits of having less stress in your lives! Stay at the slower pace for as long as you can!!! Love you!

  2. Douglas

    I remember from my school days that many Malawians are very fast runners. I noticed this in athlectics and football (soccer as you would say).

    I think that slow walkers are appreciating life.

    Malawians walking up and down Mulanje as porters or carrying Mulanje cedar walk quickly with huge loads.

    I bet Malawian ladies can carry much heavier loads on their heads than their equivalents in Japan.

  3. James

    This article made me laugh. Having lived in Malawi for over 10 years I’ve always wondered how its possible to walk as slow as Malawians do, as a fast walker myself, it must be one of the most annoying things ever.

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