All men face the same dilemma: we don’t want to die from a heart attack, but we also don’t want to do any more push-ups than are strictly necessary. With that in mind, we are forever trying to find out just how many push-ups we have to do to minimise our risk of heart disease.
Well, mystery solved. A study from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health has found that the magic number of forty. Over ten years, the researchers studied the heart health of 1,104 men – all firefighters, so you can expect they were in decent shape. In that decade, those men who could do 11 or more push-ups at the start of the study showed less risk for cardiovascular problems than those who did 10 or fewer. But more than that: being able to do more than 40 push-ups came with a ninety-six per cent reduction in heart risk, compared to those doing 10 or fewer.
Of course, push-ups have many benefits besides this: building strength, burning calories, showing off to girls, etc. But it’s good to know that if we want to keep our hearts healthy, building up our pushing-up capacity will go a long way towards doing that. If you can hit that magic number of 40, pat yourself on the back: you’re a healthy fellow.