(Gray News) – Who knew it was so simple?
A new study says the number of push-ups a middle-age man can do may be a good indicator of his risk for heart disease.
The data was put together by researchers from the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University and published in JAMA Network Open.
“Our findings provide evidence that push-up capacity could be an easy, no-cost method to help assess cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in almost any setting,” said study author Justin Yang. “Surprisingly, push-up capacity was more strongly associated with cardiovascular disease risk than the results of … treadmill tests.”
The information came from a 10-year study (2000 to 2010) of about 1,104 active male firefighters, all of them around 40 years old.
During the decade of the study, 37 participants reported cardiovascular health problems like heart disease, heart attack, stroke and heart failure.
All but one occurred in men who completed 40 or fewer push-ups at the beginning of the study.
The researchers calculated that men able to do more than 40 push-ups had a 96 percent reduced risk of CVD events compared with those who were able to do less than 10 push-ups. Push-up capacity was more strongly associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular disease events than was aerobic capacity as estimated by a submaximal treadmill exercise test.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
The study only applies to middle-aged men. The results can’t be generalized for other groups, but there is a lesson for everyone, according to senior author Stefanos Kales.
“This study emphasizes the importance of physical fitness on health, and why clinicians should assess fitness during clinical encounters.”
Now start doing your push-ups, men.
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