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Push-ups for the heart
"Show me how much push-ups you can do and I'll tell you how healthy you are", a doctor might be able to ask in the near future as part of a diagnosis. A new long-term study from Harvard University shows a connection between the ability to perform push-ups and the risk of developing a heart disease. The study’s physicians consider this a free, yet reliable method to determine the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Researchers from the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health ”recently showed in a long-term study that middle-aged men can make a reliable statement about heart health based on the number of pushups they do in one go. The study results were recently published in the specialist journal "JAMA Network Open".
Long-term Harvard study completed
Harvard researchers recently published health data from over 1,100 male participants that were collected between 2000 and 2010. The men were 39.6 years old on average and had an average BMI of 28.7. At the beginning of the study, all subjects had to show how many push-ups they could do in one go and their maximum strength was measured on the treadmill. After that, the participants had to complete an annual physical examination and a questionnaire about their state of health over a period of ten years.
Pushups better indicator than endurance test
"Surprisingly, push-up capacity was more associated with the risk of heart disease than the results of the treadmill tests," Justin Yang, author of the study, said in a press release on the study results. The researchers conclude that pushup capacity is a simple and free method to quickly and easily assess the risk of cardiovascular disease.
What does the number of pushups say?
The study found that men who did more than 40 pushups in one go were significantly less likely to develop cardiovascular disease (including heart attack) within the next ten years. In contrast, the risk of heart disease was increased in men who could do fewer than ten push-ups.
Fitness level says a lot about heart health
"Objective assessments of physical fitness are seen as strong predictors of health status," write the Harvard researchers. However, most methods are too expensive and time-consuming to use in a routine exam. Current research shows that the first study shows that there is a direct connection between the number of pushups and the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
There is a little hack
“Since the study participants were all middle-aged men, the results may not be applicable to women, men of other ages, or inactive people,” the researchers conclude. (vb)