Stair climbing always feel like a chore. More than three flights of stairs on an already hectic day may leave you breathless and annoyed but, in truth, taking the stairs comes with many benefits for health. It improves cardiovascular and joint health by giving your legs an intense workout and increasing your heart beat and, in turn, blood flow.

It also helps melt down calories and manage weight better along with strengthening your immune system and lowering your risk for several diseases. One of the easiest forms of exercise, stair climbing has been linked to a reduced risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Apart from those who have joint problems in the lower half of their body or those who are patients of heart problems, everyone can benefit from taking the stairs.

Now a new study shows the positive impacts that taking the stairs can have on your cardiorespiratory fitness. This study has been published in the Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism journal. The purpose of this research led by Martin Gibala, Ph.D. was to study the effects of sprint training on cardiorespiratory fitness.

Prof. Gibala teaches kinesiology at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. To give a brief insight, cardiorespiratory fitness refers to the functioning of the heart and the lungs in delivering oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body. Sprint training refers to short 10-minute long bursts of high-intensity exercise with recovery breaks.

For the research, 12 sedentary participants were asked to climb three flights of stairs, three times in a day with 1 to 4 hours long breaks for recovery in the middle. Outcomes of this study showed that climbing the stairs can improve cardiorespiratory fitness. This stresses on the need to skip the elevator and take the staircase. Experts recommend exercising for 30 minutes a day, 10 minutes of which can be assigned to stair climbing.