Many of us are conscious about keeping ourselves fit and healthy. We try to eat the right food and get enough exercise, but how do we know if it’s having an effect? It turns out that climbing four flights of stairs reveals a lot about our heart health.
Researchers in Spain wanted to see if there is an easy way to check someone’s heart health, so they decided to come up with an experiment. To start, they asked 165 people to run on a treadmill until they were exhausted. They had all of their stats measured, were allowed to rest for a short period, and then asked to climb four flights of stairs – around 60 steps in total. The researchers then measured everything again to see if there were any signs about their heart health.
Results under one minute
Things sound a little complicated as the results were measured in metabolic equivalents (METs.) The people that climbed the stairs in less than 45 seconds showed between 9 and 10 METs. Other studies show that people who can achieve 10 METs have a lower chance of losing their lives early and have several health benefits. The participants climbed the stairs at a normal walking rate, meaning these people had heart health that was good enough to get them up all the stairs.
Results over one minute
Several participants in the test also finished climbing four flights of stairs in more than one minute. Anyone who came in with a time over one and a half minutes achieved less than 8 METs. This means people are expected to lose their lives earlier than other people, largely thanks to their heart health. The researchers also found that 58% of the participants who took longer than a minute and a half also had abnormal heart function throughout the exercise.
An easy test
One of the best things about this way to test your heart health is it’s so easy. All you need is access to four flights of stairs. Although there are some aspects that might not give accurate results, trying the test for ourselves could be the starting point we need to see if we have a healthy heart or if we need to talk to a professional.
A few problems
The simple four flights of stairs test is a great place to start, but there still needs to be some more trials before we can use this as a reliable way to test our heart health. One of the things on the list is that one in three people who climbed the stairs in less than one minute still showed abnormal heart function throughout the exercise. There are also heart conditions that might not show up on this test and needs further investigation by doctors.
Who would have thought that climbing four flights of stairs could reveal so much about our heart health? It’s a simple test that still needs some testing and refinement, but it’s one that could reveal a lot about our health.