A recent study yielded some surprising results: middle-aged men that regularly drop down and give the world multiple push-ups are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease for the next ten years. In fact, the magic number for the amount of push-ups is 40. Results of the peer-reviewed study were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and it was conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public health.
Also importantly, according to the Study Finds Organization, is that the study is the first of its kind that associates push up exercises with future cardiovascular events in male adults.
Research for the study was conducted on more than 1,000 middle-aged active firefighters, and the team reviewed the firefighters’ heath data every year during the decade-long study. During the study, the firefighters were asked to perform as many push-up exercises as they possibly could.
Researchers measured their resulting endurance, and by the time the study concluded, nearly 37 of the men suffered from a condition related to heart disease. Of those 37 men, 36 of them couldn’t finish more than 40 push-ups when tested initially.
Authors Justin Yang, MD, Costas A. Christophi, PhD, and Andrea Farioli, MD, PhD, who published the study on JAMA, discussed the takeaways from the study.
The authors wrote that after ten years of follow up study results, the conclusion was that middle-aged males that can perform 40 push-up exercises have a 96 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease and related complications such as heart failure when compared to those who can’t perform more than ten.
The study’s primary author Justin Yang discussed the results in a Harvard T. Chan press release. Yang, who is an occupational medicine resident at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public health said of the study’s findings,
“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.”
“Surprisingly, push-up capacity was more strongly associated with cardiovascular disease risk than the results of submaximal treadmill tests,” he added.
Can you do 40 push-ups in 30 seconds? Push-up Exercise Capacity and Future Cardiovascular Events in Active Adult Men. @HarvardChanSPH study in @JAMA_current #CVD #fitness https://t.co/jAQSsRFF2n pic.twitter.com/ni6omEt9lg
— Daniel Kraft, MD (@daniel_kraft) February 17, 2019
Push-up exercises are often depicted in entertainment world as a grueling punishment meted out by drill sergeants to cadets.If you are a health-conscious civilian wanting to try out push-ups or resume performing them, you’ll want to see your medical practitioner first to get the green light for your exercise plan.
The push-up, or press up as it is also known, works the triceps, anterior deltoids, pectoral muscles and triceps. They also provide some benefits to the entire midsection, serratus anterior, coracobrachialis, and other deltoids.
Ancillary exercise equipment that is related to and works similar to push-ups include the ab roller wheel, which works by strengthening and toning abs, along with your arms back and shoulders, and the medicine ball presented by fitness enthusiast and celebrity Zac Efron, which develops core strength.