Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Taking The Stairs Could Extend Your Lifespan

May 2, 2024

Nearly half of all Americans do not reach the recommended levels of strength training or aerobic exercise each week.  These sedentary habits lead to a higher health risk for many chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.  Previous research has shown time is one of the major barriers to completing an exercise program each week.  Health professionals, including Physical Therapists, continue to work to remove barriers to exercise so more Americans can obtain the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of this activity.   One strategy is incorporating more brief bouts of exercise throughout the day including parking further away in the parking lot or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  A recent review of the medical literature demonstrates how powerful this can be on our lifespan.

Paddock and colleagues presented their findings in the journal of the European Society of Cardiology (2024).  They performed a population based study of close to 480,000 over 12 years looking to identify links between physical activity and exercise with death.  Authors found that regularly taking the stairs reduced the risk from heart attacks and strokes, including an almost 40% reduction in risk of death from heart disease.  The authors’ findings suggest that incorporating more movement into an adult’s day can have a significant impact on their health and risk of death.

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