The data indicate that doing anywhere between 11 to 20 push-ups reduced heart disease risk by 64 percent. Time to get the gym membership!
A new study has revealed that middle-aged men who can't do more than 10 push-ups are at a significantly higher risk of heart attacks or strokes, reports Independent. The research was carried out by a team from Harvard University and they were set out to find a ‘simple, no-cost, surrogate measure of functional status’ that could possibly indicate the condition a person's heart was in. Being able to partake in physical activity is a sign of health, especially cardiovascular health. The team considered push-ups as the best option to find the link between exercise and a person’s risk of heart disease. Push-ups are also a better way to figure the link out than established fitness benchmarks like running, and it was also simple to measure.
The Harvard University team said that being able to do more than 40 push-ups was associated with a 97 percent reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years. They also found out that being able to complete anywhere between 21 and 30 push-ups meant men had around a quarter of the risk of conditions like coronary artery disease or heart failure, compared to someone who couldn’t manage 10.
Participants able to perform 11 or more push-ups at baseline had significantly reduced the risk of subsequent cardiovascular disease events, the study authors wrote in the journal JAMA Network Open. “Our findings provide evidence that push-up capacity could be an easy, no-cost method to help assess cardiovascular disease risk in almost any setting,” said study author Justin Yang, from Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health.
“Surprisingly, push-up capacity was more strongly associated with cardiovascular disease risk than the results of submaximal treadmill tests [where subjects run while their breathing is measured],” he added. For the study, more than 1,000 firemen's data from fitness tests were used in the state of Indiana. They were all people who enrolled between 2000 and 2007 and used medical records to test cardiovascular disease diagnoses over the next decade.
The average age of the men was 39.6 years, but this ranged from 21 to 66 years old. While the group had an average body-mass index (BMI) of 28.7 – in the overweight range – they were all active. Even with all the calibration that was done when it came to age and pushups, it was found that there was a connection between pushups and cardiovascular health of the people that were studied.
The study concluded: The findings suggest that higher baseline push-up capacity is associated with a lower incidence of [cardiovascular] events. Although larger studies in more diverse cohorts are needed, push-up capacity may be a simple, no-cost measure to estimate functional status. Thus, results from this study suggest that it is reasonable for clinicians to assess functional status during clinical evaluations by using basic questions regarding the activity.
However, it was concluded that doing anywhere between 11 to 20 push-ups reduced heart disease risk by 64 percent. This is the first time a study has been done on the link between pushups and heart diseases. Researchers themselves claim its findings would need to be proven in other groups, which includes groups who are less active and in women, as well. Being able to do push-ups is not just a man thing, even women are capable of doing it.
“This study shows that fitter firefighters have less chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke in the next decade,” Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation said.“The narrowing of our arteries with fatty substances, which can eventually lead to heart attacks and strokes, starts early, often in our 20s and 30s. Keeping fit, no matter your age is an important way to reduce your risk.”