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Climbing stairs extends your life: confirmation from a new scientific study

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Climbing stairs extends your life: confirmation from a new scientific study

by Laura Cuppini

Forgoing the elevator was associated with a 24% reduction in the risk of dying from any cause and a 39% reduction in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease

Climbing stairs regularly extends your life. It is known that this good habit has an impact on longevity and confirmation comes from a study presented at ESC Preventive Cardiology 2024, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology. It is a sort of micro workout that improves aerobic capacity, also suitable for those who don’t have time to practice a sport.

Recommended physical exercise

Cardiovascular diseases are largely preventable through a correct lifestyle, which includes movement. However, more than one in four adults worldwide do not achieve recommended levels of physical exercise: second the World Health Organization, 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week or, alternatively, 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or a combination of the two. Climbing the stairs is a gesture that everyone can do, but which is often not given the right importance. The new study showed that giving up the elevator may play a role in reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease and premature death.

The risk of dying drops by 24%

This is a meta-analysis: the authors collected and compared previously published works on the topic, regardless of the number of flights of stairs and the speed of climb. Nine studies with a total of 480,479 participants, both healthy and with a previous history of heart attack or peripheral arterial disease, were included in the final analysis. Ages ranged from 35 to 84 years and 53% were women. And here are the results: the habit of climbing stairs was associated with a 24% reduction in the risk of dying from any cause and a 39% reduction in the probability of dying from cardiovascular disease. It is also linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

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A good daily habit

«If you have the choice between taking the stairs or the lift, opt for the stairs, because they help your heart – commented Sophie Paddock of the University of East Anglia, one of the authors of the analysis -. Even short periods of physical activity have a beneficial impact on health and walking up the stairs should be a habit to integrate into your daily routine. Our study suggests that the more stairs you climb, the greater the benefits, but this data needs to be confirmed.”

Also useful for losing weight

In another recent study, climbing more than five flights of stairs a day (about 50 steps) was associated with a reduction of more than 20% in the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, regardless of predisposition to the disease. Climbing stairs also helps you lose weight: even just two minutes every day (3 to 5 floors) can lead to burning enough calories to eliminate the average annual weight gain of 1-2 kg per year that many people experience. Finally it contributes to counteract the risk of osteoporosis in menopause.

4 maggio 2024

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