Comparative Effect of Forward and Backward Stair Climbing on Cardio-respiratory Parameters of Apparently Healthy Young Adults
Keywords: Stair climbing, blood pressure, cardiovascular endurance
AbstractForward stair climbing (FSC) is associated with cardiovascular fitness benefits, but the training effects of backward stair climbing (BSC) have not been reported in the literature. This study compared the effects of 8 weeks of FSC and BSC on the cardiovascular parameters of apparently healthy young adults. Forty apparently healthy young adults, aged 18-30 years were recruited consecutively and assigned to FSC and BSC training groups. Thirty-one subjects (16 FSC and 15 BSC) completed the study. The FSC subjects climbed a stepladder in the forward direction while the BSC subjects did so in the backward direction. Each paced ascent and descent lasted 8 seconds for both FSC and BSC groups. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DPB), heart rate (HR) and cardiovascular endurance (CE) were evaluated at baseline, and at the end of the 4th and 8th weeks of the study. Data was analysed using mean, standard deviation, percentages, one-way of variance (ANOVA) and independent t-test. Level of significance was set at 0.05. The groups were not significantly different (p> 0.05) in their cardiovascular parameters at weeks 0, 4, and 8. The FSC group had significant improvement (p = 0.045) in CE. The percentage change in CE by FSC (11.06 ± 11.44%) was significantly greater (p = 0.006) than that by BSC (-0.60 ± 10.41%). Both interventions had no significant effect on the participants’ systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and heart rate. Forward stair climbing is more effective in improving the CE of apparently healthy young adults and, hence, for improving cardiovascular endurance in rehabilitation and athletic training.
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