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According to a new study, middle-aged men who can't do 10 press-ups are more likely to suffer a stroke or develop heart disease.
The research, which was performed by Harvard University - who usually tend to know what they are talking about - found that heart disease risk over a ten year period was reduced by 97 percent in men who could do upwards of 40 press-ups.
That might seem like a lot, but even those who could do between 21 and 30 press-ups saw a reduction of around 25 percent in the risk of contracting stuff like heart disease and coronary artery disease when compared with blokes who couldn't manage to do just 10.
In the journal JAMA Network Open, the study's authors said: "Participants able to perform 11 or more push-ups at baseline had significantly reduced risk of subsequent cardiovascular disease events."
There you have it. Get pressing up, fellas.
Whilst it is great to be active in any capacity, the people behind this research found that press-ups were perfect for their study because they take a short amount of time to complete and provided a better snapshot of heart health than other traditional favourites such as running.
Basically, press-ups allowed them to predict the outcomes better.
Justin Yang from the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard (which - in case you were interested - is in Cambridge, Massachusetts) said: "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 [where subjects run while their breathing is measured]."
To collate their results, the scientists took data from the fitness tests of 1,000 or so firemen from the state of Indiana. They were all active (although their body mass index average showed that they were overweight as a collective) and aged between 21 - 66 years old.
Despite there being a pretty vast age range in the study, they still found that there was a very real connection between doing more press-ups and heart health.
However, because of the low numbers of those in the study with heart conditions and low numbers of press-ups that some were capable of, they were less confident in their results that showed a 64 percent risk reduction in those able to do between 11 and 20 exercises.
It might seem like a statement of the bleeding obvious, but the results clearly show that more exercise reduces the risk of heart disease.
Professor Jeremy Pearson, from the British Heart Foundation, told The Independent: "This study shows that fitter firefighters have less chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke in the next decade,
"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."
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