Climbing stairs linked to living a longer life – Diabetes.co.uk

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People who climb stairs can reduce their risk of dying from any cause by almost a quarter, a study has shown.

Researchers found that compared to not climbing stairs, people who do opt to take the stairs can also cut their risk of dying from heart disease by 39%.

The team carried out a meta-analysis, looking at data from nine studies involving almost 480,500 participants, with the findings presented at the recent conference of the European Society of Cardiology.

Study author Dr Sophie Paddock, from the University of East Anglia and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Foundation Trust, said: “Based on these results, we would encourage people to incorporate stair climbing into their day-to-day lives. 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.

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“If you have the choice of taking the stairs or the lift, go for the stairs as it will help your heart. 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.”

Exercise has a key role to play in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, but around one in four adults globally do not undertake the recommended amount of physical activity.

The researchers behind this latest research say that stair climbing is often overlooked as an accessible form of exercise. They set out to investigate the impact of stair climbing on heart disease risk and early death.

The study participants ranged from 35 to 84 in age, with women making up just over half of the total number. The group included those with a history of heart attack or peripheral arterial disease, and those without.

Studies were taken into account regardless of the speed of stair climbing or the number of stairs climbed.

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