The speed of climbing 4 Flights of Stairs is an indicator of heart health
According to what was published by Healthline, researchers from Spain say that being able to climb 4 Flights of Stairs in less than a minute is an accurate indicator of good heart health.
"The staircase test is an easy way to check the health of your heart," said Dr. Jesus Petero, a cardiologist at Coruña University Hospital and author of the study. "If it takes more than a minute and a half to climb four flights of stairs, your health is sub-optimal and it would be a good idea to consult a doctor."
The study presented at a scientific meeting of the European Society of Cardiology compared the results of the stair climbing test with those obtained from an exercise test performed in a laboratory.
The research has not been reviewed or published in a scientific journal yet.
Each of the 165 study participants walked or jogged on a treadmill until exhausted with their ability to do exercises measured as Metabolic Equivalents (METs).
After a break, the study group climbed four steps of stairs (60 degrees) at a rapid but not running pace, and the METs were then measured again.
Participants who climbed the stairs in less than 40 to 45 seconds achieved more than 9-10 METs.
Previous studies have shown that achieving 10 scores during an exercise test is associated with a lower mortality rate (1% or less annually, or 10% over 10 years).
Participants who took 1.5 minutes or more to climb the stairs achieved fewer than 8 METs, which translates into an expected mortality rate of 2-4 percent per year, or 30 percent in 10 years.
Imaging of heart function during the tests showed that 58 percent of participants who took more than 1.5 minutes to climb the stairs had impaired heart function during exercise.
This compared to 32% of those who climbed the stairs in less than a minute.