a dubious first

Posted on May 3, 2007


“Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.”

– Simon and Garfunkel

Singaporeans are in a great hurry.

They beat folks from 32 other cities to win the dubious honor of being the fastest walkers, outpacing those from bigger cities like New York or Tokyo, even as the pace of life worldwide has sped up by 10 per cent since 1994.

Singaporeans took just 10.55 seconds to walk along a 60 ft stretch of pavement, clocked by researchers who conducted their tests on wide, busy streets in each city.

slow down, singapore Studies have shown that as people move faster they become less likely to help others, while also becoming prone to having higher rates of heart disease.

But the hurried street-crossing is just the latest disturbing sign of the frenzied pace of life there. It’s been so deeply embedded in Singaporeans – you can’t let up or the competition will catch up and leave you in the dust. So forget about slowing down. You’d better hurry if you want to make those millions to buy that swanky downtown condominium overlooking the water. And don’t even talk about having fun. There’s no time for that.

Underneath the shiny skyscrapers and the prosperity, Singaporeans have been fuelled by the twin demons of fear of being overtaken and materialism. I don’t know how much this study will make them stop and think, but it really is time Singaporeans stopped the relentless pursuit of material gain, smell the flowers and do something good for their health, and their soul.