Science Says Your Time On The Treadmill Could Predict When You'll Die

On a stressful day, the treadmill can feel like a best friend letting you vent all that pent-up frustration.

According to a USA Today report referencing the work of a Johns Hopkins research team, however, it might also be a ticking doomsday clock.

In a 18-year-long study, the team was accurately able to predict whether or not participants aged 18 to 96 would die within a decade. The information was all based on treadmill performances.

When compared to traditional health markers, like pre-existing conditions and family medical history, the team's life and death formula was more accurate.

Researchers calculated a mathematical formula based on age, sex, heart rate and energy expenditure, then inserted each participant's treadmill stress test information to receive a number between -200 and 200.

Out of more than 58,000 study participants – 6,456 of whom passed away during the study – those who received -100 or fewer points were 38 percent more likely to die within the decade.

People scoring over 100, on the other hand, had only a 2 percent risk of death within 10 years.

Cardiologist Michael Blaha, the study's senior researcher, believes his team's FIT Treadmill Score will provide a low-cost way of determining overall health.

He said in a press release,

The FIT Treadmill Score is easy to calculate and costs nothing beyond the cost of the treadmill test itself. We hope the score will become... a meaningful way to illustrate risk among those who undergo cardiac stress testing and propel people with poor results to become more physically active.

This team may have just given doctors the ability to order patients to either shape up or start saying goodbyes, so hop on that treadmill or bike before it's too late.

Citations: Treadmill test can predict chance of death within a decade (USA Today)