A simply new test carried out on a treadmill could tell you how likely you are to live for another decade.
Dubbed the FIT Treadmill Score, the cheap and simple test involves a formula which considers a person’s ability to exercise on a treadmill at an increasing speed and incline.
While past exercise stress tests measured the short-term risk of dying among patients with heart disease or clear signs of cardiovascular problems, the new algorithm can gauge the long-term risk of death.
10 best women’s sportswear
10 best women’s sportswear
1/10 Helly Hansen W Winter Tights, £60
Good winter running tights are hard to come by. These ones from the outdoor gear specialists, which are made from slightly thicker fabric than traditional styles, are just the ticket for exercising in colder temperatures.
2/10 Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports bra, £26
This company offers perfectly fitting sports bras for just about every activity you can think of, including this one which has a popular crop top design, as well as shaped, padded and adjustable straps and moisture-wicking, high performance fabric.
3/10 Zoggs Narabeen Speedback Swimsuit, £32
Save your pretty swimsuits for your holiday. If you want to get fit in the pool, you’ll need something durable and practical like this Zoggs one, which isn’t too high cut and will last (they claim it can handle 600 hours in the pool). The tummy control panel is a saviour.
4/10 Ron Hill Classic Beanie, £8.99
Ron Hill has become one of the leading British running brands and they’ve come up trumps with this practical, stylish and streamlined beanie. In it you’ll run out of excuses for not getting outside on chillier days.
5/10 USA Pro Capri Pants, £12.50
These great value three-quarter-length leggings have a soft feel and a fit that handily flatters the natural female curves (unlike some tighter styles). There’s a back zip pocket and sweat-wicking technology to pull sweat away from the body as you work out. They’re Ideal for energetic indoor classes.
6/10 Lucas Hugh Helium Tank, £60
If you want to add a touch of glamour to your athletic wear, Lucas Hugh has some great pieces. This lightweight coral vest is finished with metallic panels, reflective strips and a cut-out back. Ideal for layering.
7/10 The North Face Feather-Lite Storm Blocker Jacket, £119
This ultra-lightweight, waterproof and windproof running jacket has been tested by athletes in demanding conditions. There’s an adjustable hem and hood, which is stowable for dryer days, and a reflective logo means you can still get out there in low light conditions.
8/10 Striders Edge Breathe T-Shirt, £39
Striders Edge gets the balance just right when it comes to flattering and functional sportswear for women. This T-shirt is made from a luxury soft fabric that’s sweat-wicking, breathable and anti-bacterial. Idea for anything from yoga to jogging.
9/10 Nike Filament capri pants, £28
For runners who prefer shorter tights, this pair from Nike are good value for the quality. They’re a snug fit that’ll stay in place while you run and have a handy back pocket that will fit a phone. We like the go-faster yellow, but if fluro’s not your thing, they also come with pink detail or plain black.
10/10 Patagonia women's cloud stack hoody, £80
This zip-up fleece hoody will do nicely for anything from yoga to adding an extra layer post fitness class or gym work out. The wide elastic waist fits snugly at the hips and it has handy pockets. Definitely one you can wear away from the gym too.
The formula works by factoring in age, gender, and peak heart rate reached during intense exercise and the ability to withstand physical exertion. These as measured against so-called metabolic equivalents (METs) which gauge how much energy the body expends during exercise.
The more vigorous the activity, the higher the amount of METs required. For example, an activity such as slow walking equals two METs, compared with eight for running.
To make their findings, the team analysed information on 58,020 people, ages 18 to 96, from Detroit, Michigan, who underwent standard exercise stress tests between 1991 and 2009 for evaluation of chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting or dizziness.
The researchers then tracked how many of the participants within each fitness level died from any cause over the next decade, and found that among people of the same age and gender, fitness level as measured by METs and peak heart rate reached during exercise were the greatest indicators of death risk.
Fitness level was the single most powerful predictor of death and survival, even after researchers accounted for other important variables such as diabetes and family history of premature death.
The researchers believe this finding highlights the importance of heart and lung fitness.
Senior study author Michael Blaha, director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, said the test is “easy to calculate” and “costs nothing beyond the cost of the treadmill test itself.”
“We hope that illustrating risk that way could become a catalyst for patients to increase exercise and improve cardiovascular fitness,” Blaha said.
How to take the test
Researchers developed the following formula:
(12 x METs) + (% of maximum predicted heart rate) – (4 x age) + 43 if female.
Maximum predicted heart rate is calculated as 220 – age. Heart rate achieved during exercise should be divided by maximum predicted. For example, if you are 20 years old, your maximum predicted heart rate is 200 (220 – 20). If you achieve 180, you achieved 90 percent of maximum.
Scores range from -200 to 200. Those who hit above 0 have a lower mortality risk, while those in the negative range face the highest risk of dying.
Meanwhile, patients who scored 100 or higher had a 2 percent risk of dying over the next 10 years, while those with scores between 0 and 100 faced a 3 percent death risk over the next decade.Reuse content