Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Want to live longer?

Apparently climbing stairs can prolong life.

Taking the stairs instead of the lift at work could save your life, claim Swiss researchers.

Banning the use of lifts and escalators led to better fitness, less body fat, trimmer waistlines and a drop in blood pressure, a study of 69 people found. This translates to a 15% cut in the risk of dying prematurely from any cause, calculate the University of Geneva team.

Over the 12 weeks of the study, the volunteers, who were hospital employees at the university, were asked to use the stairs exclusively at work instead of taking the lift.

On average, the number of flights of stairs - classed as climbing up or down one storey - rose from five per day to 23. After the three months of the trial, tests showed they had better lung capacity, blood pressure and cholesterol measurements. Their weight, body fat and waist measurements also dropped, and their capacity for doing aerobic exercise improved. Taken together, this equates to a 15% reduction in the chances of dying young, say the investigators.

Daily I have been climbing stairs in my present office which occupied a 3-storey shop lot. I needed to climb 2-storey of stairs in order to get into my cubicle. Average a day I will climb minimum 2 times - one in the morning and another when coming back from lunch. I guess I have benefited from this 'inconvenient' stair climbing exercise.

No comments: