Besides walking…an easier way to maintain heart health

A new study: climbing just five flights of stairs a day can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes

Posted in:
Last update:

Experts recommend taking 10,000 steps a day, a practice that can bring numerous benefits to physical and mental health, particularly cardiac health. However, many may find this a little difficult given the daily demands of work.

However, some researchers believe there is another way of exercising that could be more effective when it comes to improving heart health, the Daily Mail reported.

The newspaper highlighted a new study that suggests climbing just five flights of stairs a day (so one flight of stairs is equivalent to 10 steps) can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.


The benefits appeared greatest for people who had done ten or more cycles, according to the results of a ten-year study involving 400,000 Britons.

Climbing stairs involves a short period of high-intensity exercise, in the same way as skipping or aerobics. Other examples of such activities include running, swimming and fast cycling.


Researchers at Tulane University tracked the health of 458,860 people in the United Kingdom for an average of 12 and a half years. Participants were asked how many times they had climbed stairs at the start of the study, and again five years later.

Over the course of the study, 39,043 people developed atherosclerosis, when arteries narrow, making it difficult for blood to flow through them.

The findings, published in the journal Atherosclerosis, showed that participants who climbed five flights of stairs a day were 3% less likely to develop atherosclerosis, compared to those who did not climb stairs. Volunteers who climbed at least six sets a day were 16% less at risk.

The researchers concluded that climbing more than five flights of stairs (about 50 steps) is associated with a lower risk of developing the disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

In addition to improving heart health, experts say climbing stairs burns twice as many calories as walking and strengthens your lungs and muscles.

“Short periods of high-intensity stair climbing are a time-effective way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness… especially among those unable to meet current physical activity recommendations,” the author said of the Dr. Lu Qi study, noting that the findings “highlight the potential benefits of stair climbing as a preventative measure for atherosclerosis.

However, the study was observational and does not mean that climbing stairs reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in participants. But the findings add to a large body of evidence suggesting that even simple exercise can help improve health.

Read also

Source link

Leave a Comment