Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

There's so much to do in life, yet we're already so busy.

The promise of a longer life is one that tantalizes us every day, as we work too hard and strive too much.

Yes, we try and stay fit. As much as we can, that is.

But there's always one more meeting, one more conference call, one more email that seems to get in the way.

And then we go for our annual physical and the doctor offers dark portents.

We believe that, to have a longer life, we should eat healthily and exercise. 

Is there something else, though--preferably something simple--that we can do?

A new study from the U.K.'s National Institute for Health Research offers a curious clue.

The headline is one that I haven't seen before: "Faster Walkers More Likely to Live Longer."

Yet these researchers looked at data from 474,919 people and reached this stark conclusion.

Perhaps most jarring is this little nugget: 

Those with a habitually fast walking pace have a long life expectancy across all levels of weight status--from underweight to morbidly obese.

For so long, we've heard that weight is a vital factor in our continued survival.

Here, though, the researchers offer that the physical types with the lowest life expectancy were "underweight individuals with a slow walking pace."

Professor Tom Yates, professor of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and health at the University of Leicester and a lead author of the study, put it very baldly:

The findings suggest that perhaps physical fitness is a better indicator of life expectancy than body mass index (BMI), and that encouraging the population to engage in brisk walking may add years to their lives.

I confess to having rolled my eyes once or twice at those who insist on walking quickly.

A stroll seems so much saner. It gives you time and space to look at others, smell the flowers, and eat your ice cream.

If we all started rushing around, the world would look so frenzied, and we surely have enough of that already.

Yet these results create a painful dilemma by suggesting fast walking is a way of prolonging your life.

Perhaps a good compromise would be to walk speedily about the office, thereby getting in your fitness work where you work.

This has an added advantage. You don't have to stop and chat with anyone along the way.

They can see you're in a hurry, after all.

Published on: May 21, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.