More Push-ups, Less Heart Problems?

Perhaps the most basic form of exercise is the push-up – all you need to do them is a solid floor. Aside from building up your arms and shoulders, new evidence suggests that push-ups might be also helpful for your heart.

Put To The Test

This study, conducted by researchers from Harvard University, analyzed the impact of pushups among approximately 1,100 firefighters. The study authors were particularly interested in this group’s risk of heart disease during the study’s ten year follow up period.

This group had an average age of 40, and none had a history of heart disease when the study began. Each firefighter’s push-up capacity was documented at the onset of the study; in addition, treadmill tests, physical examinations and medical questionnaires were also used to get a clear picture of the subjects’ cardiovascular health.

Help for the Heart

After doing some number-crunching, the Harvard team found that push-up performance may have a major impact on cardiovascular health. When compared against subjects who were unable to complete more than 10 push-ups, those who did more than 40 were at 96% less risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease-related outcomes. Furthermore, the researchers noted that pushup capacity had a more notable impact on heart health than treadmill endurance.

The report’s lead author, Professor Stefanos Kales, stated that his team’s work emphasized the need for adults to lead active lifestyles. “This study emphasizes the importance of physical fitness on health, and why clinicians should assess fitness during clinical encounters,” said Kales in a Harvard T.H. Chan school of public health press release.

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