Stair-climbing has 'significant' health benefits

Stair-climbing has significant health benefits, a new study has found.

Researchers from McMaster University found that heart patients who followed vigorous or moderate stair climbing routines had improved cardiovascular and muscular benefits.

The team of scientists worked with patients at the Cardiac Health and Rehabilitation Centre at the Hamilton General Hospital in an effort to develop an exercise routine that didn't need specialist equipment.

They recruited patients who suffered from coronary artery disease and had undergone a cardiac procedure, and split them into two groups: one which was assigned to do moderate-intensity exercise on the stairs, while the other was given a vigorous stair climbing workout.

They found that individuals who had done traditional exercise and those who had done stair-climbing both increased their cardiorespiratory fitness after four weeks, and managed to maintain those levels for a further eight weeks of training.

Participants also reported substantial muscular improvement.

Lead researcher Maureen MacDonald said that patients improved their mortality after taking part in the exercises.

"Brief, vigorous stair-climbing and traditional moderate intensity exercise both changed fitness, which is a key predictor of mortality after a cardiac event," she explained.

"We've shown stair-climbing is a safe, efficient and feasible option for cardiac rehabilitation, which is particularly relevant during the pandemic when many people don't have the option to exercise in a gym," MacDonald added.