Benefits of a worksite or home-based bench stepping intervention for sedentary middle-aged adults – a pilot study

Jacqueline L Mair, Colin A Boreham, Ditroilo Massimiliano, David McKeown, Madeline M Lowery, Brian Caulfield, Giuseppe De Vito

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    8 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this study was to investigate the benefits of a low-volume, vigorousintensity bench stepping programme in sedentary middle-aged adults. Thirty-onehealthy but sedentary adults (12 men; 55–64 years) took part in the study. Participantsaccumulated up to 9 min per day of stepping exercise on three days perweek over the 4-week experimental period. Parameters of cardiorespiratory fitness,body composition and lower limb muscle strength were measured on threeoccasions: TS1 (baseline test), TS2 (following a 4-week control period) and TS3(following the 4-week intervention). Data were analysed using a repeated-measuresANOVA. Adherence to the programme was excellent (96%). Relative to the insignificant changes following the control period, parameters of cardiorespiratory fitness were significantly improved following training. No alterations in body composition or lower limb muscle strength were detected. These results show that less than 30 min per week of bench step exercise, accumulated in short bouts throughout the day, can improve parameters of cardiorespiratory fitness after only 4 weeks in previously sedentary middle-aged adults. Due to its low-cost, timeefficient and discrete aspects, stepping exercise may have important implications for public health initiatives that promote physical activity in a population who commonly report ‘lack of time’ as a barrier to physical activity.


    • ageing
    • exercise
    • health
    • physical activity
    • stair climbing
    • worksite intervention


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