Jobs often require to stay at the desk for several hours and a busy and stressful life may take you time and energy to do some physical activity, so important for a healthy life. However, there is a good piece of news, indeed, according to a research published a few days ago on the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism by a Canadian team of McMaster University (Jenkins et al, Jan 2019), spending a little time to climb stairs improves the health of the cardiovascular system.
The researchers selected young sedentary adults and asked them to dedicate some coffee breaks to vigorously climb a three-flight stairwell, three times per day, separated by one to four hours of recovery according to their possibilities. This protocol was repeated three times a week for 6 weeks. At the end of the study, this fast workout has been shown to be useful to improve the fitness of all the participants who followed it in comparison with the sedentary people. In particular, the scientists have observed an improvement in the ability of the circulatory system to give oxygen to the muscles during any body activity. This value is known as CRF, Cardiorespiratory fitness, and is classified by the American Heart Association as an indicator of the health condition of heart and body. In particular, an increase of this value is connected to a lower risk to develop illnesses (Ross et al, Circulation, Nov 2016).
The study has shown that a simple and quick physical activity such as climbing the stairs during a lunch or coffee break is an exercise for everybody and effective to improve the health of the cardiovascular system.