Climbing stairs reduces risk of heart disease by 20%, study says

Climbing stairs can be beneficial for health (Image via Unsplash/Lindsay Henwood)
Climbing stairs can be beneficial for health (Image via Unsplash/Lindsay Henwood)

Climbing stairs can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 20%, according to a new study published in the journal Atherosclerosis. Researchers have concluded that climbing around 50 stairs every day can have a significant positive effect on heart health. It should be noted that coronary artery disease or stroke was the ailment studied.

The co-author of this study, Dr Lu Qi, a professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, said in a press release:

"Short bursts of high-intensity stair climbing are a time-efficient way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness,"

This article goes into what the researchers had to say about the effect of physical activities, especially climbing stairs, on the heart.


Is climbing stairs good for health?

Strokes can cause death if not treated immediately (Image via Unsplash/Lindsay Henwood)
Strokes can cause death if not treated immediately (Image via Unsplash/Lindsay Henwood)

Strokes rank second among the top causes of death worldwide. In the United States, they rank fifth.

An improved lifestyle can prevent strokes without much cost or effort. Dr. Lu Qi believes that their study will be able to motivate people to improve their lifestyles. He said:

"These findings highlight the potential advantages of stair climbing as a primary preventive measure."

In the study, 12.5 years of data were analyzed. The data was sourced from the UK Biobank, which is a vast collection of health and lifestyle details of 458,000 adults. Several factors were considered during the statistical analysis of the data.

Factors such as family history, established risk factors, lifestyle choices, and the frequency of stair climbing were used to conclude whether climbing stairs has any impact on heart health or not. It has to be kept in mind that other activities also have a similar impact.


What happens if you climb stairs every day?

Climbing stairs in your office can protect your heart (Image via Unsplash/Robina Weermeijer)
Climbing stairs in your office can protect your heart (Image via Unsplash/Robina Weermeijer)

The researchers also suggested that climbing stairs might be a cost-effective and easily accessible way to keep your heart healthy and prevent strokes or coronary artery disease. Strokes can be extremely deadly if not treated on time.

As quoted by The Independent, Dr. Nicolas Berger, a senior lecturer in sport and exercise at England’s Teesside University, said:

“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,”

Taking the stairs while going to the office, coming back home, and even at stations can have a long-lasting effect on the heart and overall health.

Remember, these techniques can only prevent strokes but not cure them. If you are doubtful about your heart health, consult a cardiologist for proper advice.


Indranil Biswas is a nutritionist and personal trainer with a diploma in dietetics and personal training with a specialization in sports nutrition and strength training.


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