How Fast Can You Walk Up A Flight Of Stairs? It Could Predict How Long You'll Live

You should be able go up four flights in under a minute. Here’s what you should do if you fail the test.

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Ascending stairs is a good indicator of your cardiovascular health as well as your cancer risk. Getty Images

Wondering if you’re at risk of heart disease or cancer? Your answer could be on a set of stairs.

A new study presented at the European Society of Cardiology says an exercise test requiring brisk movement can predict your risk of early death from cardiovascular and oncologic diseases, among other illnesses.

Most people can easily replicate this test at home without any medical equipment. To do so, simply time yourself briskly climbing four flights of stairs.

A healthy individual should be able to complete the test in under one minute.

“This study reinforces the notion that exercise is really helpful for both cardiovascular and oncologic disease,” Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health and a member of the American College of Cardiology’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Section Leadership Council, told Healthline.

“We’ve known for a long time when we’re making pre-operative assessments to see if someone’s heart can make it through surgery, one of the things we ask before we do testing is, ‘How much can you do? Can you go up a flight of stairs?’” Freeman said.

He further explained that one’s ability to climb stairs is a good indicator that in all likelihood their surgery should come off relatively smoothly.

It makes sense that brisk exercise can indicate risk factors for cardiovascular issues, but what’s the connection to cancer?

“It’s also been known for a while that exercise is a wonderful adjunct to cancer treatment therapy and may even serve as a preventive,” Freeman explained.

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