The exact number of stairs you need to climb to 'slash your risk of heart disease' | The Sun

WALKING up 50 stairs a day slashes your risk of heart disease, a study shows.

Climbing more than five flights of stairs reduced the chances of the deadly condition by a fifth, US researchers found.

Dr Lu Qi, of Tulane University in New Orleans, said climbing stairs could prove a quick fix for people who do not get enough exercise.

He said: “Short bursts of high-intensity stair climbing are a time-efficient way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and lipid profile.

“This is especially the case among those unable to achieve the current physical activity recommendations.

“These findings highlight the potential advantages of stair climbing as a primary preventive measure for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in the general population.”

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Around 7.6million Brits currently live with a heart or circulatory disease, according to the British Heart Foundation.

They cause a quarter of all deaths in the country, increasing the risks of heart attack and stroke.

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is caused by the thickening or hardening of the arteries, usually because of a build up of plaque.

The NHS recommends Brits do some type of physical activity every day, with adults aiming to do strength training at least twice a week.

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They should try and do two-and-a-half hours of moderate intensity activity — like brisk walking — a week, according to the guidelines.

Previous research shows walking 6,000 to 9,000 steps a day reduces the risk of heart disease by up to 50 per cent compared to walking just 2,000.

The latest study, published in Atherosclerosis, looked at how climbing stairs affects people’s chances of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Researchers looked at data from 450,000 Brits who were tracked for around 12-and-a-half years on average.

They were asked about how many stairs they climb daily and their risk based on genetic factors and family history were also calculated.

People who stopped climbing stairs every day saw their risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease increase by a third. 

Dr Qi said: “This study provides novel evidence for the protective effects of stair climbing on the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

“This was particularly the case for individuals with multiple atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk factors.”

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