Stair climbing at home for health benefits

Michael, Elpida (2018). Stair climbing at home for health benefits. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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Climbing stairs is a lifestyle physical activity with effects on a range of CVD risk factors. This thesis explored the potential of stair climbing at home as a public health intervention in three empirical studies.
A pilot study tested the feasibility of progressive increases in stair climbing and descent at home. Eight participants progressed from 10 in week one to 19 in week four. Percent body fat, SBP and leg power were improved at the end of the brief intervention.
The second study randomly allocated 24 healthy weight (BMI = 22.1) and 26 overweight (BMI = 31.7) sedentary women to gym-based and home-based stair climbing for 5 days.week-1 over 8 weeks, with a healthy weight control group recruited for comparison. Intervention participants progressed from 2 continuous 32.8m in weeks 1-2 to 5 in weeks 7-8. Stair climbing improved body composition, cardio-respiratory fitness and serum lipid profiles. Increases in leg power were found in the stair climbing group. Overall, effects were similar for gym-based and home-based interventions.
Given the effects of leg power, and the importance of leg power in the elderly, the third study investigated the potential psychological determinants of increased stair climbing at home for an older population. Participants (n = 281; age = 69.2 years) reported the number of floors that they were willing to climb continuously at home, as well as potential barriers and facilitators of the behaviour. Positive beliefs about the benefits of regular stair climbing and fear of falling, both on stairs and in general, were the major predictors of willingness to climb stairs at home.
Discussion focuses on the potential of home-based stair climbing as a cost-effective intervention for preservation of function and CVD risk in public health.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Science
Funders: Other
Other Funders: State Scholarship Foundation of Cyprus
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine


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