Metabolic Effect of Breaking Up Prolonged Sitting With Stair Climbing Exercise Snacks

Hossein Rafiei; Kosar Omidian; Étienne Myette-Côté; Jonathan Peter Little


Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2021;53(1):150-158. 

In This Article


Overall, the current findings demonstrate that interrupting prolonged sitting with brief hourly bouts of stair climbing may help to negate some of the detrimental metabolic effects of sedentary behavior in individuals with overweight/obesity. Although it is unlikely that this type of activity can replicate all the benefits of more sustained exercise bouts, individuals with overweight/obesity, who are at elevated risk of T2D and CVD, may benefit from incorporating brief daily stair climbing exercise "snacks" that could be performed at home, workplace, or school (e.g., during coffee or washroom breaks). Our results, combined with the fact that stair snacks have been shown to improve cardiorespiratory fitness,[19] suggest that this novel exercise approach warrants further investigation, particularly in real-world settings. The findings of study 1 are likely generalizable to young healthy men, and those of study 2 are likely generalizable to middle-age individuals with overweight/obesity. Our findings are based on the acute context, and hence, longer-term studies will need to be conducted to investigate the feasibility and efficacy of such brief intense physical activities in the real-world settings.