Sedentarity at work: short episodes of climbing stairs can improve health

The gym to maintain one's health is not essential if it is difficult to do. A study shows that a few minutes of climbing stairs, several times a day, have a positive effect on cardiovascular health.

Everyone does not have the availability or the means to spend long hours at the gym, yet with the sedentary lifestyle that is often the rule during office work, this may be necessary for our health and our well-being.

A study conducted by kinesiologists at McMaster University and UBC Okanagan in Canada, however, shows that climbing stairs for a few minutes, but regularly throughout the day, may be enough to solve this problem. So everyone could improve their fitness anywhere and anytime.

A difficult exercise

The researchers already knew, from previous studies, that drills, like sprinting, done over a very short time, but intensively, were effective, and required only about ten minutes of investment per day. This time, therefore, it was necessary to determine whether the same type of exercise, but performed on stairs, could be effective and sufficient to improve the cardiorespiratory fitness of sedentary workers.

A group of sedentary young adults thus served as guinea pigs and climbed a 3-storey staircase at high speed, 3 times a day, spacing these moments of exercise from 1 to 4 hours of rest. Everything was repeated 3 times a week for 6 weeks. The shape of the group was then compared by the researchers with that of a control group that did not practice.

"We know that sprint interval training is interesting, but we were a little surprised to see that the" break-step "approach is also effective. Says Jonathan Little, assistant professor at the University of British Columbia Campus in Okanagan and co-author of the study. Not only are the stair climbers in better shape than the control group at the end of the study, but they are also stronger and more resilient during a stress test on a bike.

Accessible to everyone

It would therefore be necessary to insert regularly into the work day, small "stair breaks", really beneficial for the body. "Those who work in office towers or who live in apartment buildings can climb a few steps vigorously in the morning, at lunch and in the evening, knowing that they train effectively," says Martin Gibala. , Professor of Kinesiology at McMaster and lead author of the study. Virtually everyone can improve their health, as long as they have a flight of stairs.

Video: Obesity: Its More Complex than You Think. Fatima Cody Stanford. Radcliffe Institute (January 2020).