A simple five minute treadmill test can determine your risk of mortality according to researchers from Queen’s University. The test can identify the risk of death with scary accuracy, independent of other factors such as age, weight, smoking habits, family history and blood pressure.
The previous standard for determining mortality through physical testing relied on a maximal fitness test. The accepted test has provided reliable results for decades, is quite time-intensive and can be extremely taxing for the subject. The test involves running on a treadmill where the maximum incline increases until the runner can’t continue any further.
However the recent study has suggested that a simpler, five minute submaximal test can provide results that are equally as accurate.
"This study shows that the risk association with submaximal fitness is similar to that of maximal fitness, which suggests that the submaximal fitness test, which requires less than one-third the time of a maximal fitness test and does not require the patient to reach maximal exertion, is a pragmatic alternative to maximal fitness tests for assessing mortality risk in clinical settings," explains Ms. de Lannoy.
Lead researcher Louise de Lannoy conducted analysis on data from over 6,000 men and women over a period of 28 years. All of the subjects participated regularly in a submaximal fitness test and their mortality was predicted with extreme precision.
“Submaximal fitness predicted mortality risk above and beyond traditional risk factors, therefore this test provides information that influences and enhances patient management," said de Lannoy.
How exactly can you predict your mortality based off a submaximal test? It’s all related to your heart rate in response to the level of intensity you’re running on at any given time. Given the ease to administer submaximal fitness testing, Lannoy’s discovery opens up the methodology to a wider range of practitioners as a valid means of mortality prediction.