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Simple everyday activity could slash heart disease risk by 20%, study finds

Taking the stairs may be a smart move for your heart’s health.

A recent study published in the medical journal Atherosclerosis found that regular stair-climbing could reduce the risk of certain types of heart disease.

Specifically, the research revealed that climbing 5 flights (approximately 50 steps) of stairs per day could decrease the risk of atherosclerosis — or atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) — by 20%.

The study, conducted by researchers at Tulane University in Louisiana and Peking University in Beijing, analyzed more than 12 years of data from the UK Biobank for 458,860 adults.

The results revealed a lower risk of ASCVD, even among those who were otherwise more susceptible to the disease.

About half of middle-aged Americans have the condition and are unaware of it

The study findings support the belief that stair-climbing could be a “convenient and time-efficient way of vigorous exercise for lowering the risk of heart disease,” said Tulane University professor Lu Qi, M.D., PhD, who was one of the study authors.

In addition to potentially reducing the risk of heart disease, climbing stairs is also an effective form of high-intensity aerobic exercise, according to Dr. Laxmi Mehta, a non-invasive cardiologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

“Routine, short bursts of high-intensity exercise, such as climbing stairs, on a regular basis can improve heart disease risk factors with lower blood pressure and healthier weight” she told Fox News Digital

people walking upstairs

One of the study’s authors encouraged people to use the stairs more often based on the revealed benefits.  (iStock)

“Daily stair-climbing is associated with a reduced risk for metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that increase the risk of premature death,” Jones said.

“This includes markers such as blood cholesterol and triglycerides, blood sugar and blood pressure.


Limits to the study 

There were some limitations to the new study.

“This is an observational study, so the results do not derive causality,” Qi of Tulane University told Fox News Digital.

“The information on stair-climbing is limited,” he also said.


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