Climbing stairs cuts heart disease risk by 20% – and may beat ‘steps’ – Pas Trusted News

Tired of living in a walk-up apartment?

Hate it when an escalator breaks down?

It’s a nuisance, but climbing those flights of stairs might be saving your life, according to a new study from Tulane University.

And stair-climbing might be even better than walking thousands of steps a day.

Medical researchers have found that taking at least 50 steps up stairs each day could slash your risk of heart disease — including coronary artery disease or stroke — by 20%.

“Short bursts of high-intensity stair climbing are a time-efficient way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness,” study co-author Dr. Lu Qi, a professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, said in a news release.

“These findings highlight the potential advantages of stair climbing as a primary preventive measure” for cardiovascular disease, Qi added.

To test the benefits of stair climbing, Qi and his colleagues analyzed data from the UK Biobank, a massive 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, established risk factors, lifestyle habits and frequency of stair climbing. The researchers followed up on the participants for an average of 12.5 years.

The study, published in the journal Atherosclerosis, found that people who regularly climbed 50 steps a day — about five flights of stairs — had an almost 20% lower risk of heart disease.

And because staircases are easily found in most cities, the authors noted that climbing stairs could be a low-cost, easily accessible way to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Taking the stairs is a low-cost, easily accessible way to improve your health — and might be better than taking thousands of daily steps.baona

Better than steps?

Stair climbing has some advantages over other forms of exercise — including walking thousands of steps per day.

Stair climbing “requires the use of more muscles as well as some balance and gross motor skills,” Dr. Nicolas Berger of the UK’s Teesside University told the Independent.

Even a brief stair workout tones muscles such as the glutes, quads, hamstring and calves, as well as muscles in the core, Berger noted.

It also “requires a lot of activity from your cardiovascular system and that is why people often find themselves out of breath whilst climbing stairs,” Berger added.

“These short, intermittent bursts of activity have large benefits in terms of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. They can significantly increase your heart rate and oxygen uptake and cause positive adaptations in the body.”

And although walking up 50 steps a day might not seem like much, “it can have a significant training effect,” Berger said.

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