Some researchers at Harvard all got together to answer one simple question:
Is there an office-based objective measurement that clinicians can use to assess the association between fitness and cardiovascular disease risk?
To find this out, they used the good-old reliable push-up, and over 1,100 “occupationally active adult” men. Over a 10-year period, they looked at their ability to perform push-ups and how it correlated with their heart health.
Here’s how it worked. A metronome was set up at 80-beats-per minute. The clinic staff then counted the number of push-ups that were done in-time with it. Counting stopped only when the man completed 80 push-ups, he missed 3-or-more beats, or exhaustion set in.
The result? There’s a magic number, and it’s 40. If you can do 40 push-ups – in one session (as in, all the way through without stopping) then your risk of a cardiovascular event is reduced by as much as 96%. Researchers say the push-up test could be a better assessment test for doctors, instead of the commonly used treadmill tests.
So, if you can do 40 push-ups without stopping, you're in pretty dang good shape!
Credit: JAMA Network