Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease by 20% with Just 50 Daily Steps – Start Climbing Today!

Climbing Stairs Heart

A new study from Tulane University reveals that climbing at least 50 steps daily, equivalent to more than five flights of stairs, can lower the risk of heart disease by 20%. This groundbreaking research underlines the effectiveness and accessibility of stair climbing, offering a practical alternative to traditional exercise recommendations, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Forget hitting 10,000 steps a day. According to research conducted at Tulane University, climbing at least 50 steps daily can significantly decrease the risk of developing heart disease.

Published in Atherosclerosis, the study found that climbing more than five flights of stairs daily could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 20%.

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) along with coronary artery disease and stroke are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide.

Stair Climbing: An Efficient Cardio Exercise

Dr. Lu Qi, the co-corresponding author of the study and a professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, emphasized, “Short bursts of high-intensity stair climbing are a time-efficient way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and lipid profile, especially among those unable to achieve the current physical activity recommendations. These findings highlight the potential advantages of stair climbing as a primary preventive measure for ASCVD in the general population.”

Insights from Extensive Data Analysis

The study utilized UK Biobank data collected from 450,000 adults and calculated participants’ susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, incorporating family history, established risk factors, and genetic risk factors. The median follow-up time was 12.5 years.

It was discovered that climbing more stairs daily significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals who were less susceptible. Furthermore, daily stair climbing effectively countered the increased risk of heart disease in more susceptible people.

Dr. Qi highlighted the public availability of stairs as a low-cost, accessible way to integrate exercise into daily routines.

“This study provides novel evidence for the protective effects of stair climbing on the risk of ASCVD, particularly for individuals with multiple ASCVD risk factors,” Qi said.

Reference: “Daily stair climbing, disease susceptibility, and risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: A prospective cohort study” by Zimin Song, Li Wan, Wenxiu Wang, Yueying Li, Yimin Zhao, Zhenhuang Zhuang, Xue Dong, Wendi Xiao, Ninghao Huang, Ming Xu, Robert Clarke, Lu Qi and Tao Huang, 16 September 2023, Atherosclerosis.
DOI: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2023.117300

The study was funded by the National Key R&D Program of China. 


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