4-flights of stairs test: what do the results mean? 4-flights of stairs test: what do the results mean?

4-flights of stairs test: what do the results mean?

Science says that depending on how fasts you can climb four flights of stairs, you might get to know a thing or two about your heart.

Researchers say how quickly a person can walk up four flights of stairs may be an indicator of their heart health.


Researchers from Spain say that being able to climb four flights of stairs in under a minute is an accurate indicator of good cardiac health.

Recently there has been presented a study in the European Society of Cardiology compared the results of the stair-climbing test to those obtained from exercise testing conducted in a lab.

The 165 study participants each walked or ran on a treadmill until exhaustion with their exercise capacity measured as metabolic equivalents (METs). After a rest period they climbed 4 flights of stairs at a fast but not running pace then they had their METs measured again.

Participants who climbed the stairs in less than 40 to 45 seconds achieved more than 9 to 10 METs.

Participants who took 1.5 minutes or longer to climb the stairs achieved less than 8 METs, which translates to an anticipated death rate of 2 to 4 percent per year, or 30 percent in 10 years.

“Based on the study, the ability to climb stairs can be used as a crude way to assess one’s physical function that may be predictive of overall heart health,” Bullock-Palmer told Healthline.

“However, I believe that this crude self-assessment cannot take the place of a proper physical exam, and history by a physician, and a proper, appropriately indicated stress test,” she said.
“Climbing downstairs puts significant force on the knees. Be sure that you walk down carefully, taking care of your joints, after going upstairs,” she added.

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