A recent study from Tulane University suggests that incorporating a simple daily habit of climbing stairs could significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, with the potential to lower it by 20%. The study, published in Atherosclerosis, challenges the conventional wisdom of achieving 10,000 steps per day and instead promotes the idea that just taking at least 50 steps by ascending stairs can yield substantial cardiovascular benefits.
Cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), coronary artery disease, and stroke are leading global causes of illness and death. The study, based on data from 450,000 adults in the UK Biobank, assessed participants’ susceptibility to cardiovascular disease through various factors, including family history and lifestyle habits. The results showed that daily stair climbing had a more significant impact on reducing cardiovascular disease risk in individuals who were less susceptible. However, even those with higher susceptibility saw their risk effectively offset by this daily practice.
Dr. Lu Qi, co-corresponding author of the study, emphasized the accessibility and affordability of stairs as an exercise option for the general population. Stair climbing is considered a time-efficient way to enhance cardiorespiratory fitness and improve lipid profiles, especially for those who struggle to meet current physical activity recommendations. These findings highlight the potential of stair climbing as a primary preventive measure for ASCVD, promoting heart health with a straightforward and cost-effective daily activity.
Re-reported from the article originally published in The ANI English