Trade the Elevator for the Stairs


Sometimes just the smallest change in your daily routine can result in exceptional benefits, so this November take the challenge – no more elevators or escalators! Instead, take the stairs. Not only will you get more exercise, you’ll also have a mini-stress break to regroup your thoughts while you burn some important calories and get your body accustomed to regular exercise.

So why take the stairs?

For one, walking up stairs burns twice as many calories as walking on level ground – so consider the difference between taking the stairs versus an elevator (which of course, burns zero calories). By climbing the stairs you will also have the opportunity to build your leg muscles and increase your aerobic capacity.

Stepping to burn calories

Before you discount the impact stair climbing can have on your health, do a little math. On average you burn just over 1 calorie per 10 stairs climbed up, and a half-calorie for 10 stairs climbed down. This may not sound like much, until you count how many stairs you need to climb to get to and from work, including breaks for lunch or to leave for meetings. Even if you have a mere 30 stairs to climb to your office, that’s 4.5 calories burned for every trip up and down. Again, it may not sound like much, but how many times do you have an opportunity to climb the stairs, either at work or throughout your day? What if you add in trips to the mall or the climb to your apartment? You can easily burn 100 calories or more in a day – particularly if your office is on the tenth floor!!

The domino effect

The best part about trading the elevator for a set of stairs is the domino effect it has on your health habits – once you start to feel the benefits of stair climbing you’ll find that it will spill over to other aspects of your life. For example, you may start walking to the next bus stop down the street instead of the one that’s closest to your home, or park a bit farther away from the office and enjoy the weather on your way there. Perhaps you’ll take a lunchtime walk? How about a quick jog in the evening? Maybe it’s time to make a few changes to your diet, replace a few unhealthy snacks with some carrots? You’ll be surprised how quickly this challenge can turn you into a whole new, healthier person!

Challenge yourself to take trade the elevator for stairs.

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Photo: laverrue