The five studies presented at the conference back in 2012, provided striking evidence that when a person’s walk gets slower or becomes less controlled, cognitive functions are suffering because the disease is interfering with the electrical circuits of the brain.
It’s not surprising that the more trouble seniors have with thinking, the more trouble they have with walking, since the way we walk tells more about us than we had imagined. Did you know some researchers say that from a person’s gait or manner of walking, you could learn about their personality, intentions, pathology, criminology and more?
Body language experts believe people are constantly giving off non-verbal clues about their personality through their manner of walking. It is even being used by governments as a “biometric identifier” to recognize individuals. Yes, it's true.
The science related to walking, known as “gait analysis,” includes drawing conclusions about people’s health from their patterns of walking. Dr. Stephanie Bridenbaugh of the Basel Mobility Center in Basel, Switzerland, stated, “Gait analysis can simply, quickly and objectively measure walking. When problems emerge, this may provide early detection of fall risk and the earliest stages of cognitive impairment in older adults.”
While the posture and speed at which a person walks may change according to a person’s mood, experts say all of us have a distinctive gait that influences how we are viewed. For example, a woman walking toward a man to flirt has a different stride than the mother walking toward a person who is threatening her child. A person late for work may have a much different walk than when strolling through a park to relax.
Have you ever stopped to notice the difference? People who have a brisk, forceful gait are often considered high achievers who value their time. Those who always walk at a leisurely pace as if they are taking a stroll, are likely calm, relaxed or complacent individuals. People who walk with their head held high and shoulders back, usually have a positive approach to life. A person with slumped shoulders, who constantly looks at the ground while walking, commonly lacks self-esteem or is dreading of what may lie ahead.
When people feel confident they tend to walk with longer steps and faster than usual. On the other hand, people who always walk slow and take small steps are viewed as cautious people who are less likely to take risks. Persistent people tend to walk with heavy footsteps that exert more pressure on the floor. This walking style indicates a lack of flexibility. If you are feeling happy, your energetic walk often reflects that mood, whereas a person who is sad, lonely or depressed may find their steps lack energy.
Watch people walk. See if you can pick up a few personality hints. Just keep in mind that a single gesture is not enough to base a conclusion on. It can, however, give you an impression. Studies show people form impressions quickly, and in many cases, quite accurately when they first meet others.
Even in a spiritual sense, the way we walk can identify who we are in the eyes of God. How so? At Psalm 26:3, the Bible speaks of a person who can say: “I have walked in Your truth.” — New King James Version. How do you suppose such a person would walk? Could you tell by their conduct that they were honest, truthful, patient and forgiving?
At Ephesians 5:2, Christians are told to “Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.” — New International Version. Would such a Christian be outstanding in self-sacrificing acts of kindness, looking for opportunities to be helpful to others in need, regardless of the person’s race, faith or nationality? If so, people will easily identify such a person as a true follower of Christ by their “walk.”
As 1Peter 2:21 says, “In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely.” — New World Translation. If our manner of walking, our “spiritual gait,” is patterned after Christ Jesus, people will see a difference in the way we walk. It will remind them of the way Jesus walked. This “walk” will also reflect a new character, a Christian personality (Ephesians 4:24), and identify us as serving the true God.
Among the benefits of learning to walk in such a way, 1John 1:7 says, “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” — New International Version.
That means, instead of experiencing a change in our walking as a sign of aging or Alzheimer’s disease, our walking in God’s way of light will put us on the road to everlasting life where we can walk with God without ever aging or getting ill. Would you enjoy that? Then learn how to walk with God and imitate Him.
It all boils down to this: As 2John 6 says, “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” — New International Version.
If you do, people will immediately notice a difference both in your personality and in your walking among them.