Intermittent Stair Climbing Improves Fitness
In a recent
study, British researchers confirmed
that some exercise is better than nothing.
Researchers found that for sedentary people, even
a few minutes of daily stair climbing - a vigorous
but easily accessible form of exercise - can
improve cardiovascular health.
Previous studies have shown that accumulating
short bouts of exercise can make a difference; this
one shows just how short those bouts can be.
Twenty-two sedentary college-aged women walked up 199 steps - more than
you’re likely to find at home, but doable in a high-rise - in 2.25 minutes, a
“brisk but comfortable” pace which shot their heart rates up to 90 percent of
their predicted maximum.
They progressed from one ascent per day during the first week to six ascents
per day, for a total of 13.5 minutes over the course of a day, during the sixth
and seventh weeks.
By the end of this modest exercise program, the women were measurably
more fit: Heart rate, oxygen uptake and blood lactate levels during climbing
were reduced, and their HDL (''good'') cholesterol levels had increased.
Source: Preventive Medicine, 2000; 30, 4, 277-281