Climbing the stairs can help to reduce blood pressure, recent research shows.
Stair climbing also helps reduce arterial stiffness and increases leg strength.
Around half of all Americans have high blood pressure (the figure is around 30 percent in the UK).
Many, however, are unaware since it typically has no symptoms.
The condition raises the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The conclusions come from a study of 41 Korean women, all of whom had very high blood pressure.
Half of them climbed stairs four times a week between two to five times a day.
Each time they climbed 192 steps.
The results showed that climbing the stairs lowers blood pressure and builds leg strength.
Dr JoAnn Pinkerton, The North American Menopause Society executive director, said:
“This study demonstrates how simple lifestyle interventions such as stair climbing can be effective in preventing or reducing the negative effects of menopause and age on the vascular system and leg muscles of postmenopausal women with hypertension.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Menopause (Wong et al., 2018).