Scientists have identified what they think could be a simple, practical test to predict people’s heart health, and it’s about push-ups! In a new study led by Harvard University, researchers found that men’s ability to do more than 40 push-ups was linked with significantly reduced risk of serious heart problems over the next 10 years – in some cases slashing risk by as much as 96 percent. “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,” says occupational medicine resident Justin Yang from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Surprisingly, push-up capacity was more strongly associated with cardiovascular disease risk than the results of submaximal treadmill tests.” “Participants able to complete more than 40 push-ups had a 96 percent reduction in incident CVD events compared with those completing fewer than 10 push-ups,” the authors write in their paper. “Push-up capacity
is positively correlated with aerobic capacity and physical fitness,” senior author of the study and CVD specialist, Stefanos Kales, says.