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Take the Stairs & Step Up to Longer Life
  • Posted April 26, 2024

Take the Stairs & Step Up to Longer Life

Want to live longer? Choose the stairs over the elevator, a new review suggests.

Folks who regularly climb stairs have a 24% reduced risk of dying from any cause, and a 39% reduced risk of dying from heart disease, compared to those who always take the elevator, researchers found.

Stair climbing also is associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease or suffering a heart attack, heart failure or stroke, results show.

“If you have the choice of taking the stairs or the lift, go for the stairs as it will help your heart,” researcher Dr. Sophie Paddock, of the University of East Anglia and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Foundation Trust in Norwich, U.K..

Stair climbing is a practical, easily accessible form of physical activity, Paddock said. Despite this, it's often overlooked by folks rushing to get to a higher floor.

“Even brief bursts of physical activity have beneficial health impacts, and short bouts of stair climbing should be an achievable target to integrate into daily routines,” Paddock said.

For the study, researchers pooled data from nine studies involving more than 480,000 people. Studies were included regardless of the number of flights people climbed or the speed at which they took them.

“Based on these results, we would encourage people to incorporate stair climbing into their day-to-day lives,” Paddock said in a news release. “Our study suggested that the more stairs climbed, the greater the benefits – but this needs to be confirmed. So, whether at work, home or elsewhere, take the stairs.”

Researchers presented the findings Friday at ESC Preventive Cardiology 2024, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology. Findings presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The American Council on Exercise has more about stair climbing for health.

SOURCE: European Society of Cardiology, news release, April 26, 2024

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