Stair climbing, at short intervals throughout the day, can aid longevity, a new study suggests.

The research, published in the Journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, says climbing the stairs at intervals throughout the day can improve cardiovascular health, an important indicator for longevity.

“The findings make it even easier for people to incorporate ‘exercise snacks’ into their day,” said Martin Gibala, senior researcher at McMaster University.

“Those who work in office towers or live in apartment buildings can vigorously climb a few flights of stairs in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening and know they are getting an effective workout.”

Having set out to determine if exercise snacks or vigorous bouts of stair climbing would be sufficient to improve cardio-respiratory fitness, the researchers made some interesting discoveries.

After series of experiments with both active and sedentary participants, the researchers found that the stair climbing approach was effective and indeed aids heart health and longevity.

Participants who were in the habit stair climbing were also stronger and generated more power during a maximal cycling test as against their sedentary counterparts.

“Vigorously climbing a few flights of stairs on your coffee or bathroom break during the day seems to be enough to boost fitness in people who are otherwise sedentary,” said Jonathan Little, co-researcher at UBC’s Okanagan campus.



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