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Can You Do More Than 40 Push-Ups? You May Be Less Likely to Develop Heart Disease

A study published in JAMA Network Open demonstrates that men who can perform at least 40 push-ups at once may be less likely to suffer from heart disease within the next ten years. In fact, the data in this study shows that men who can log more than 40 push-ups at once have a 96% reduced risk of heart disease.

The study was performed by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who claim that their study was the first to show a link between heart disease risk and push-ups capacity. To perform the study, the researchers reviewed the 2000-2010 health data of 1,104 active male firefighters. At the beginning of the study, the average male participant was about 40 years old.

The firefighters in the study performed as many push-ups as they could, and also had their treadmill tolerance tested (the treadmill tolerance was not linked to any findings). At the end of the study period, 37 participants had suffered from a heart disease-related condition. Of those 37 men, all but one of them had been unable to achieve more than 40 push-ups in the initial testing.

The study’s first author, occupational medicine resident Justin Yang, stated that the findings could show push-up capacity to be an effective and affordable method to help assess risk of heart disease.

However, more research is needed to determine the link—and because the study was performed on middle-aged men with active jobs as firefighters, the results should not be assumed to be the same for women or men of different occupations or ages.

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