Summary by Utah Sports and Wellness

Link to Original Article:

  • JAMA Network
  • Volume 2 – February 2019
  • Harvard Medical School
  • 44 References


Few studies have assessed simple measures of functional status that lower the risk of CVD:

  • The objective was to evaluate the association between push-up capacity and subsequent Cardiovascular events in male firefighters.
  • This study was conducted among 1100 male firefighters, aged 18-66 years old.
  • Participants were split into five groups based on number of push-ups completed and were followed for 10 years.

The author adjusted their findings based on certain cofounders, including:

  • Age
  • Body Mass Index
  • Whether or not the participant was a smoker
  • Hypertension & diabetes
  • Diastolic & systolic blood pressure
  • Glucose level

These authors also note:

  • Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morality worldwide.
  • Physical activity provides cardiovascular benefits independent of other CVD risk factors.
  • Participants able to complete more than 40 push-ups had a 96% reduction in incident CVD events compared to those could complete fewer than 10.
  • There is a significant negative association between baseline push-up capacity and cardiovascular disease across 10 years.
  • Push-ups are no-cost, quick, and simple.
  • Being able to do 11 push-ups vs. 10 reduced ones risk of a CVD event by 50%.