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Stair-climbing ‘exercise snacks’ can boost cardiorespiratory health

24/01/2019

Stair-climbing ‘exercise snacks’ can boost cardiorespiratory health

Most people understand the important role exercise plays in maintaining and boosting your health. But expensive gym memberships coupled with the busy lives many people lead mean that getting enough exercise is often a non-starter due to the associated expenses and/or a lack of time.


The good news though is that new research shows stair climbing, at short intervals that last just a few minutes throughout the day, can improve cardiorespiratory health.


For the study, researchers from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, led by Martin Gibala, Ph.D., observed two groups of sedentary youngsters. One group climbed three flights of stairs three times a day and had recovery sessions of between one and four hours in between, while the other group did not exercise.


At the end of the study period, the cardiorespiratory health of both groups was assessed. The group that performed the stair climbing each day had higher cardiorespiratory fitness than the group that did no exercise.


Moreover, the stair climbers were also found to be stronger at the end of the intervention.


Jonathan Little, Ph.D., an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of British Columbia in Okanagan, Canada, and study co-author, said: “We know that sprint interval training works, but we were a bit surprised to see that the stair snacking approach was also effective.


“Vigorously climbing a few flights of stairs on your coffee or bathroom break during the day seems to be enough to boost fitness in people who are otherwise sedentary.”


So there you have it. You can boost your cardiorespiratory health by simply adding ‘exercise snacks’ into your daily routine.

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