Stair-Climb Your Way to Health

Step up to exercise snacking.

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA
May 21, 2019

You may want to start recommending exercise snacking, particularly for people who believe they have no time for training. A few minutes of vigorous stair climbing, spread out in three bouts per day, three times a week, improved cardio fitness in formerly inactive young adults. McMaster University and UBC Okanagan researchers in British Columbia conducted the 6-week study.

“We know that sprint interval training works, but we were a bit surprised to see that the stair snacking approach was also effective,” said study author Jonathan Little, assistant professor at UBC Okanagan. “Vigorously climbing a few flights of stairs on your coffee or bathroom break during the day seems to be enough to boost fitness in people who were otherwise sedentary.”

Find the study in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism (2019; doi:10.1139/apnm-2018-0675).


Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at

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