• ‘Climbing can help reverse damage done to posture at work’ – fitness coach
  • ‘Being outdoors is massively beneficial to mental health’
  • We list the key physical and mental benefits of climbing you might not have thought of, as explained by experts

Climbing could be the perfect relief for homeworkers who are hunched over a laptop all day, experts say.

With most Brits still forced to work from home at less-than-ideal working stations following the national lockdown, the physical and mental wellbeing of people in the UK is of growing concern.

Camptoo, the leading motorhome and campervan rental company, have teamed up with a group of experts to suggest why physical activities such as outdoor and indoor climbing in the UK could be the perfect antidote to the daily struggles of working from home and COVID shielding.

Here, Camptoo highlights the health benefits of climbing and why more people should be taking the activity up.

1. Mental health and wellbeing

Getting out and about is vital to our mental health and wellbeing. Being cooped up in lockdown saw a lot of people struggle without their usual daily interactions and routines, and any form of outdoor physical activity can be crucial in exercising the mind and freeing yourself of ongoing tensions. 

Dr. Guiseppe Aragona told Camptoo: “Being outdoors is massively beneficial for our mental health and fresh air can give us fresh perspectives, and help endorphins. 

“A big part of climbing benefits can come for those who may suffer anxiety – this is because mountain climbing is a challenge, and something with which you rely on yourself to successfully complete what can be a fairly daunting task.”

“The feeling of success and achievement from this can be a big catalyst to implementing this in other parts of our life.”

2. Mobilization for desk workers

Sitting behind a desk all day is bad enough for your posture and general physical state, but the recent national lockdown meant many workers were forced to work from home at inadequate work stations, thus exaggerating bad working habits. 

Brendan Lee, certified sports coach at thefitbrit, told Camptoo: “Most people spend eight hours a day sitting, looking down at their phones, down at their keyboard and whatever is on their desk. 

“Climbing forces you to do the opposite – spend a lot of time looking up. This is fantastic for your neck, shoulders and back, and can help you reverse a lot of the damage you do to your posture during a desk job. It’s one of the perfect sports for those who spend a lot of the day sitting!”

3. Physical benefits

The physical rewards of going climbing are the most tangible, as regular sessions will result in the strengthening of key muscles such as the abs, obliques, biceps, traps, delts, quads and calves. Climbing is certainly a full-body workout so don’t be concerned if you end up with a few aches and pains – it will only benefit you in the long term!

A study by Engbert and Weber has also shown that regular climbing is an effective and low-cost therapy option for people with chronic back injuries, as regular sessions over a period of four weeks helped reduce the pain and, in some cases, the benefits exceeded those experienced by regular therapy (such as with a physio). 

Jeff Parke of Top Fitness Mag told Camptoo: “Climbing really offers a full-body workout and can even help with things like balance and endurance.

“It builds strength in your arms, tones your entire upper body, and makes your legs much stronger. Climbing can even strengthen your hands and fingers!”

4. Improve mental strength

Climbing can also build up your mental muscles, as you rely on your mind and body to get you through challenges to improve your  problem solving, hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, concentration, confidence, mood and mental endurance.

As Dr. Vikram Tarugu explains: “Rock climbing involves problem-solving ability. Navigating routes allows a climber to assess their own skills, such as height, power required to achieve the next move, existing states of energy and route planning. 

“In addition, rock climbing requires the necessary hand-eye coordination for a climber to judge what he or she sees in a crag and how to reach it.”

Dr. Nikola Djordjevic added: “Climbing is a sport that includes physical exercise fantastic for the body and mental training – to choose your next step and endure the climb to your goal height makes for a separate set of achievements. Climbing is not only an excellent strength and endurance sport, but it’s also amazing for your psyche. 

5. Weight loss

Let’s face it, one of the benefits everyone looks for in physical exercise is weight loss. For some people, that’s the main reason for getting active, but for others it’s just one of several pluses. Climbing is no different, with a standard day of climbing at average intensity burning around 500 calories for an average weight of 185 pounds, making it more physically challenging than other outdoor pursuits such as water skiing, swimming, surfing, skiing, skateboarding, kayaking and hiking.

There are many other benefits of climbing, whether it be outdoors and in the countryside, or just at your local indoor centre. Some of the further benefits include socialising with people of similar interests, enjoying the amazing views and avoiding long-term illnesses through its general health benefits.

For further advice or recommendations on where to climb in the UK, please get in touch!