Coffee drinkers, along with being a particularly whip smart and fetching bunch (just look at all this coffee science), are truly a bunch of doers. We’re movers, shakers, and go-go makers, even if things can get slightly jittery from time to time. For proof, look no further than your pedometer. One new study finds that coffee drinkers take 1,000 more steps each day than non-coffee drinkers.
The findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021 in November. For the study, researchers strapped ECG devices to the wrists of 100 adult participants—average age of 38, divided 51/49 women and men—and tracked their caffeine intake, movement, sleep, and overall health. Participants were then DNA tested for genetic variants that may affect caffeine metabolism. Over the course of the two-week trial, participants were randomly assigned to either consume or avoid coffee for no more than two consecutive days at a time. Consumption was measured in real-time via a “timestamp” button on the ECG watch, GPS monitoring of trips to the coffee shop, and a daily questionnaire about coffee intake.
They found that drinking coffee was “consistently associated with more physical activity” (and less sleep, but whatever). Participants were measured taking more than 1,000 additional steps on the days they consumed than the days they refrained. Each cup of coffee consumed was associated with an extra 600 steps that day. (Each cup was also associated with 18 fewer minutes of sleep that night, but again, whatever.)
The study also found drinking coffee was associated with a 54% increase in premature ventricular contractions, “a type of abnormal heartbeat originating in the lower heart chambers.” Contrastingly, the study found drinking coffee was associated with fewer instances of supraventricular tachycardia, “an abnormally rapid heart rhythm arising from the upper heart chambers.”
So while it’s a mixed bag of good and bad news, this study makes one thing clear: if you want to get your steps up, coffee is your friend.