The Benefits of Stair Climbing for Cardiovascular Health
Medical researchers have found that rising at least 50 degrees a day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease or stroke, by 20%.
Time-Effective Way to Improve Cardiorespiratory Fitness
“Short stair climbing is a time-effective way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness,” study co-author Dr. Lu Qi, a professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, said in a press release.
“These results highlight the potential benefits of stair climbing as a primary prevention measure for cardiovascular disease,” Qi added.
Research and Findings
To test the benefits of taking stairs, Chi and his colleagues analyzed data from the UK Biobank, a huge repository of health and lifestyle information collected from more than 458,000 adults.
The study calculated people’s susceptibility to cardiovascular disease based on their family history, specific risk factors, lifestyle and frequency of climbing stairs. The researchers followed the participants for an average of 12.5 years.
A study published in the journal Atherosclerosis found that those who regularly climb 50 degrees a day had about a 20% lower risk of heart disease.
Since stairs can be easily found in most cities, the researchers suggested that taking them could be an inexpensive and easily accessible way to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Advantages of Stair Climbing
Better than steps?
Climbing stairs has some advantages over other forms of exercise, including taking thousands of steps a day.
Dr Nicholas Berger, from Teesside University in the UK, told The Independent that climbing stairs “requires the use of more muscles, as well as some balance and gross motor skills.”
Berger noted that even a short stair workout strengthens not only the core, but also muscles such as the glutes, quads and hamstrings.
Berger added: “It also requires a lot of cardiovascular activity, which is why people often get out of breath when climbing stairs. These short, intermittent bursts of activity have significant benefits in terms of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.” They can increase the heart rate and oxygen consumption increases significantly and promotes positive adaptations in the body.”
According to Berger, “Although walking 50 steps a day may not seem like much, it can have a significant training effect.”
Source: New York Post