Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2007) 06, 448 - 454

Research article
Evaluating the Effects of A Low Volume Stairclimbing Programme on Measures of Health-Related Fitness in Sedentary Office Workers
Rodney A. Kennedy1, , Colin A.G. Boreham2, Marie H. Murphy1, Ian S. Young3, Nanette Mutrie4
Author Information
1 School of Sports Studies, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, County Antrim, UK
2 Institute for Sport and Health, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland
3 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Institute of Clinical Science, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK
4 Department of Sport, Culture and Arts, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, UK

Rodney A. Kennedy
✉ Institution affiliation: School of Sports Studies, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, County Antrim, BT37 OQB, UK
Publish Date
Received: 10-05-2007
Accepted: 18-07-2007
Published (online): 01-12-2007
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Despite its obvious advantages, few studies have examined health outcomes of regular stariclimbing. In this study, we investigated the training effects of eight weeks of stairclimbing on recognised measures of health-related fitness in an occupational setting. Forty-five public sector employees (22 male, 23 female) aged 42.3 ± 9.0 years were randomly assigned to control (n = 16) or stairclimbing (n = 29) groups. Stairclimbing training began with 1 bout 5d·wk-1 in week 1, increasing by one climb per day every two weeks until week 5, where a maintenance level of 3 climbs per day was reached. Participants climbed on staircases located within an 8 storey office block, consisting of 145 steps. The prescribed exercise intensity involved climbing the 8 flights of stairs at a rate of 75 steps·min-1. All participants agreed not to change their diet or lifestyle over the experimental period. Relative to controls, the stairclimbing group showed a significant increase of 9.4% in predicted VO2max (p < 0. 05). No significant changes in blood pressure, blood lipid concentrations or body composition were noted. These findings provide evidence that stairclimbing can enhance an important component of health-related fitness, namely cardiovascular fitness. Given that such improvement resulted from less than 30 minutes per week of moderate exercise, stairclimbing in the workplace should be promoted as a health-enhancing physical activity.

Key words: Exercise therapy, physical fitness, dyslipidemias, occupational health

           Key Points
  • Low volumes of stairclimbing significantly increased a key component of cardiorespiratory fitness, namely VO.
  • Stairclimbing can therefore be promoted within the typical urban workplace as a health enhancing activity.
  • Indices of morphological or metabolic fitness may require larger volumes of stairclimbing than as prescribed in the current study.
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