Heart and circulatory diseases are the cause of a quarter of deaths in the UK each year. Every five minutes, someone is admitted into a hospital because they are suffering from a heart attack.
Fortunately, it is possible to prevent heart problems. The staircase test is a good way of finding out whether your heart is in good shape or not.
The staircase test
Who hasn't wondered whether their heart is in good shape? Thankfully, you don't have to go to a cardiologist and undergo a whole series of tests to find out if your heart is in good shape. Although, you should definitely consult a medical practitioner every year for a check-up. But, there is a simple, free and accessible method for testing your vital organ.
Doctors often ask their patients to perform the staircase test to quickly understand whether they have heart concerns. All that is required is to climb a whopping sixty steps or four flights of stairs as quickly as possible. If it takes you less than 45 seconds to climb those stairs, you're fine. If, on the other hand, you take between one and one and a half minutes, it's time to get more in-depth tests done.
A study conducted in 2020
These results were demonstrated by a study published by the European Society of Cardiology on 11 December 2020 on the Science Daily website. Of 165 volunteers 'with coronary heart disease that causes chest pain and shortness of breath,' as reported by Sciencepost, those who had a MET, a method of assessing the risk of a cardiac event between 9 and 10, had a low annual mortality rate.
In contrast, those who took the stairs test for more than a minute had a MET of less than 8, which would translate into an annual mortality rate of between 2 and 4 per cent. In addition, 58 per cent of those who took more than one minute to climb the sixty steps had 'abnormal heart function,' compared to 32 per cent of those who did not. Don't forget that there are heart-healthy foods!