Can Taking the Stairs Boost Longevity?

At a time when less than half of adults in the U.S. get the recommended amount of exercise, there is new evidence that climbing stairs can reduce the risk of heart disease and help people live longer. A new meta-analysis presented at a European Society of Cardiology conference finds that people in the habit of climbing stairs had about a 39% lower likelihood of death from heart disease, compared to those who didn’t climb stairs. They also had a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.

“I was surprised that such a simple form of exercise can reduce all-cause mortality,” says study author Dr. Sophie Paddock, of the University of East Anglia and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Foundation Trust in the UK.

She and her colleagues looked at data from about 480,000 participants, ranging in age from mid-30s to mid-80s – about half were women. Paddock says the findings fit with a body of evidence pointing to the benefits of moderate-intensity exercise.

Excerpted from NPR

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