Walking speed

One detail that differs between cultures, is the speed of walking. I visited the museum of communication in Frankfurt am Main where you can among all the other things explore the speeds physically.

The task was to walk a so-called ‘catwalk’ as normal as possible and see which country your speed matches. The first time I tried to walk normally, as I do on the streets. The result was the speed of Sweden, which hits very close home up in Scandinavia.

world-map-how-fast-do-you-walk-museum-fur-kommunikation-frankfurt-am-main

With a growing excitement, I tried all the different speeds to experience the feelings people have around the world while walking. I had to almost run to reach the fastest Swiss, and when moving as the Brazilians, I had time to improve my samba moves.

how-fast-do-you-walk-communication-museum-frankfurt-am-main

Here are some examples of speed in different countries, for example the results of this walking test of 10 meters

What is not included in this test, is that people walk with different speeds also according to the area they are from, whether they live in a city or countryside, and whether they have to hurry or not.

Even though I don’t like generalizing things, and even less groups of people, but an average walking speed tells something about the culture. How about, which nationality would you be?

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4 comments

  1. I studied a while in The German University in Cairo, Egypt. And i remember how our German lecturers were amazed -and annoyed- at how slow paced we were, one of our lecturers actually told us one day as we were walking from one building to another to time how many footsteps do we talk in a minute and multiply it by 7 then see the difference haha. It does reflect something about each culture, i think it is highly related to how cultures perceive time.
    I have also noticed the difference between Malaysians and Singaporeans when walking, although they were the same people one day, after separation they grew with different perceptions of time hence the difference in my opinion.

    1. I remember wondering this subject already when I participated school exchanges as a teenager. I think you’re right, walking speed tells something about the culture and the way of respecting time. During those exchanging days I got amazed how the friends from the south of Europe took their time in the morning to prepare things and walk the preferred slowlier speed, even though we were late from an appointment. There’s not one right way, I guess the best for one is the comfort level that someone has grown up with – one’s own culture.

      1. well, i am Egyptian who grew up in Egypt but i prefer german’s and singaporean’s perspective on time haha. It wouldn’t work in Egypt right now, because it’s out of your hands; traffic jams, corrupted institutions, nothing can be done on time, so it’s better to give up on the time aspect. However, since the country is going through major changes right now, i would like to see a change in our culture, respecting time is a great deal, without breaking a sweat over it though. If you value time, you’d spend it differently, I don’t know it’s really subjective, but i believe it’s essential to question our culture once in a while, cultures do change and develop, and we can shape it as we like if we were more conscious about the process.

      2. If something must done in a certain time, then it’s needed to respect the time and push in case of limits, such as deadlines. We all should be able to enjoy life and use the time we have as we see best. It is possible that one doesn’t feel just right in a place they were born or grown, with the existing culture around. These days it is of course easy to move around but also put the possible changes in action in one’s own culture, eg grow the respect of time.

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