Study shows climbing stairs linked to longer life span

Climbing stairs is associated with longevity.
Studies show that climbing stairs is linked to longer life span. Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

Climbing stairs is linked to a longer life, according to research presented on Sunday at ESC Preventive Cardiology 2024, the scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

“If you have a choice of taking the stairs or the lift, take the stairs as it will help your heart,” said study author Dr Sophie Paddock, of the University of East Anglia and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Foundation Trust, Norwich. UK. “Even brief bursts of physical activity have beneficial effects on health, and climbing stairs should also be an achievable goal to integrate into a daily routine.”

Heart disease can be largely prevented through activities like exercise. However, more than one in four adults worldwide do not meet recommended levels of physical activity.

Climbing stairs is a practical and easily accessible form of physical activity that is often overlooked.

This study examined whether climbing stairs, as a form of physical activity, could play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease and premature death.

The authors gathered the best available evidence on the topic and conducted a meta-analysis.

Studies were included regardless of the number of flights of stairs and climbing speed.

There were nine studies with 480,479 participants in the final analysis.

The study population included both healthy participants and those with a previous history of heart attack or peripheral artery disease.

Ages ranged from 35 to 84 years and 53 percent of participants were female.

Compared with not climbing stairs, climbing stairs reduced the risk of dying from any cause by 24 percent and reduced the chance of dying from heart disease by 39 percent.

Climbing stairs also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

Dr Paddock said: “Based on these results, we would encourage people to incorporate stair climbing into their daily lives. Our study suggested that the more stairs climbed, the greater the benefit – but this needs confirmation. So, whether at work, at home or anywhere else, take the stairs.”

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