According to science, there’s a simple test to find out whether you’ll live to an old age, and it involves stairs.
And as someone who struggles walking up the stairs to my apartment sometimes, it does not bode well.
A medical study has shown compelling results that those who can briskly walk up four flights of stairs without stopping for a break (or using additional help like leaning on the handrail) are in good stead for a long life.
Those who can’t? Well… yeah.
Celeste Barber’s everyday exercise tips. Post continues after video…
The new Spanish study, which was presented at a European Society of Cardiology meeting in early December, found that those who struggle to climb stairs were twice as likely to die from cancer, and three times more likely to die from heart disease.
The test was conducted on almost 13,000 people who had been diagnosed or had suspected coronary artery disease (CAD).
Over five years, 1253 of the tested patients died from cardiovascular disease, 670 died from cancer and 650 from other causes.
In terms of cancer-related deaths, it found people who had struggled with the simple fitness task died at a rate of 1.5 per cent, whereas those who didn’t struggle died at a rate of 0.8 per cent.
The risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was 3.2 per cent among the less fit, and 1.2 per cent among able stair climbers.
Deaths from other causes tripled in respondents who couldn’t climb the four flights of stairs.
While there is no cure for CAD, treatment and prevention include lifestyle changes to diet and exercise.
Dr Jesús Peteiro, the Spanish cardiologist who led the study, said the results indicate that fitness can vastly improve your lifespan.
“If you can walk very fast up three floors of stairs without stopping, or fast up four floors without stopping, you have good functional capacity,” Dr Peteiro said.
“If not, it’s a good indication that you need more exercise.”
The Australian Government guidelines on physical activity recommend a combination of physical activity, adding up to 150 minutes per week.
It is recommended Australians aim to be active every day of the week.
Well excuse us, we have stairs to climb.