Pushups for Heart Health? The point the media missed in this recent Study.

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You may have noticed on Facebook and in the news recently this study getting a lot of attention. 

The study was titled "Association Between Push-Up Exercise Capacity and Future Cardiovascular Events Among Active Adult Men."

To summarize that for you, they wanted to see if there was a link between the amount of push-ups you could do and your risk for any sort of cardiovascular complication in the next 10 years.

Some important notes:

  • Only men in the study (sorry ladies, but the data was extrapolated from firefighter testing that was being done on the males in the department)
  • The study was performed on "active men" although the only indication I saw to clarify what they meant by this was that they were a firefighter. Certainly an incredibly demanding profession but not necessarily meaning they train regularly.
  • The study only looked at incidences over the next 10 years, and the average age at the start was 39.5. So obviously not PERFECT data, but a great start.

Anyway, on to the results.

The study found that those that could complete 40 or more pushups consecutively had a 96% less occurence of future cardiovascular related issues. 

Now of course that is the headline that all the major media outlets ran with, and don't get me wrong it's impressive and worthy of note.  It's their job to collect the big numbers and the flashy stories that tend to catch the eye.

However, for me there was a data set in this group that deserved more attention. 

"Being able to do at least 11 pushups reduced occurrences by 64% "

Now I know it doesn't have the shine of  40 pushups or the allure of 96%, but consider this.

Most males, even untrained after a bit of training can work up to 11 pushups. Just by doing this we are cutting their risk of potential cardiovascular risk by more than half! If we are looking for a minimal effective dose, shooting for 11 would be a great place to start.

Here are some takeaways from this post and study:

  1. The media's job is clicks and traffic. Read past it and see if there is deeper information to understand.
  2. Something is always better than nothing. 64% is still a hell of a reduction. Imagine someone reading it and thinking "Well I'll never do 40 so what's the point?"
  3. Do your pushups!

I hope I was able to breakdown this information a little more clearly for you and even motivate you to get to work on your pushups.

As always, feel free to share with a friend or family member.

-Keep Moving Forward

Brian

 

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