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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56218. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056218. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Stair descending exercise using a novel automatic escalator: effects on muscle performance and health-related parameters.

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Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece.


A novel automatic escalator was designed, constructed and used in the present investigation. The aim of the present investigation was to compare the effect of two repeated sessions of stair descending versus stair ascending exercise on muscle performance and health-related parameters in young healthy men. Twenty males participated and were randomly divided into two equal-sized groups: a stair descending group (muscle-damaging group) and a stair ascending group (non-muscle-damaging group). Each group performed two sessions of stair descending or stair ascending exercise on the automatic escalator while a three week period was elapsed between the two exercise sessions. Indices of muscle function, insulin sensitivity, blood lipid profile and redox status were assessed before and immediately after, as well as at day 2 and day 4 after both exercise sessions. It was found that the first bout of stair descending exercise caused muscle damage, induced insulin resistance and oxidative stress as well as affected positively blood lipid profile. However, after the second bout of stair descending exercise the alterations in all parameters were diminished or abolished. On the other hand, the stair ascending exercise induced only minor effects on muscle function and health-related parameters after both exercise bouts. The results of the present investigation indicate that stair descending exercise seems to be a promising way of exercise that can provoke positive effects on blood lipid profile and antioxidant status.

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