If you can do this many push ups, you’re “healthy”

Researchers invest their time and energy into a LOT of crazy sounding and irrelevant tests and theories.

Like the scientific research team that went on a mission to find out how many licks it takes to get to the centre of a lollipop. (TL/DR: it’s around 1000).

Or the results of some data gathered by The Society for the Study of Addiction, which found that – are you sitting down? – alcohol consumption increases the chance of a person having unprotected sex. Well, I never!


Every now and then scientists share something useful, however, which is how we’ve ended up with this report from Harvard scientists about push-ups.

Specifically, the Ivy League researchers wanted to get to the bottom of push-ups and their correlation to heart health.

It goes without saying that the more push-ups you can do, the fitter you are. But this study has put some specific numbers around what we should be aiming for in order to obtain optimal health.

What they discovered, generally speaking, is that the baseline amount of push-ups for basic, solid health is 10.

For every push-up you can do over the benchmark of 10, it decreases your risk of heart disease.

If you can do 40 or more, then you are at the gold standard; you are 96 percent less likely to experience a cardiovascular event – think heart attack or heart disease – than those who could do only 10 or fewer.

Here’s the bad news for coach potatoes: if your push-up limit is 10 or fewer, then you need to prioritise your fitness goals ASAP. Because your risk of heart disease is more than 30 times greater than it is for people who can do 40 or more.

For the purposes of this study only middle-aged, “occupationally active” men were studied over a 10-year period, so researchers warn that “the results may not perfectly apply to women or to less active men of other ages.”

I fall into this latter category, so allow me to let out a giant sigh of relief over here –I think I would struggle to get to 10 push-ups on my best day…

So what’s your push-up score?

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Well this is inaccurate, I can do well over 40 push-ups, and I’m still not as fit as someone who can run a marathon but may struggle to 5 push-ups. Push-ups is more of a strength test of a particular muscle group than it is a fitness test, maybe something like the beep test is more accurate.

Well, thank you , Grant ,for your comment, the modesty, and the explanatory tidbit.

(For any readers, I , myself, fall into the “middle aged black guy who regularly performs a decent amount of muscle and also cardio work” category. I exercise 3 times weekly.at 45 minutes, and I just did 20 pushups before deciding to quit winner.)
I ‘d always seen myself as somewhat slightly better than average fitness.for my age…