Can You Climb Four Flights of Stairs Quickly?

While the future is full of surprises, findings from a new study are linking the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer to performance on a certain exercise test. There’s good news for those of you who can quickly climb four flights of stairs, but those who can’t may want to re-evaluate their health and fitness goals.

Performance & Risk

The study was performed in Milan, Italy, and included 12,615 participants who either have or are suspected to have coronary artery disease. These participants were evaluated via treadmill exercise echocardiography and asked to walk or run with gradually increasing intensity. Their fitness levels were determined in METs, or metabolic equivalents. One MET is the energy exerted when someone sits calmly in front of a computer. In the study, people measuring ten METs on the treadmill were considered high performers with good functional capacity. The study followed up 4.7 years later, and concluded that deaths from cardiovascular disease and cancer were thrice and twice as high, respectively, in participants who exhibited poor functional capacity. For every additional MET individuals achieved in the test, risk of death from cancer, heart disease, and other causes dropped by nine percent, nine percent, and four percent.

Take the Test

Fortunately, predicting your risk doesn’t have to involve exercise echocardiography. According to the study author, all you need is a set of stairs. Dr. Jesús Peteiro says that if you can walk up three flight of stairs very quickly without stopping, or walk up four flights quickly without stopping (you should try to make it up those four floors in less than a minute), your functional capacity is considered good. If you’re unable to do so, it’s a sign that you need more exercise.

And if you’re in Reno, that’s where the certified trainers at Framework Personal Training come in. Staving off future demise from cardiovascular disease or cancer is great, but there are benefits to exercise you’ll enjoy right away. According to Dr. Peteiro, “physical activity has positive effects on blood pressure and lipids, reduces inflammation, and improves the body’s immune response to tumours.” Don’t wait until January to benefit from exercise. Contact Framework today, and let us help you get moving!

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