I’m relegated to taking the stairs for exercise. Talk about a slacker, slug, dead-wood, no-ambition type of ex-racer. BUT – look what I found are the benefits of taking stairs! So maybe all isn’t lost after all:
There are a variety of benefits to programs that encourage the use of stairways, as part of physical activity in workplaces, or other settings. These benefits may include improved morale, a sense of well-being, higher energy levels and improved team building.
Below are the measurable benefits that are indicated in research on stair use. It is highly recommended that you accumulate 30-60 minutes of moderate physical activity each day.
Stair climbing is possible in many workplaces and requires no special equipment in order to participate.
- There is evidence to suggest that moderate intensity lifestyle activities like taking the stairs may be more successfully promoted than structured vigorous intensity exercise programs (Kerr, 2001).
- Stair climbing can be accumulated across the course of the day, making a significant contribution to 30 minutes of daily physical activity (Kerr, 2001).
- Stair climbing interventions typically result in a 6-15% increase in use of stairs.
- A significantly lower risk of mortality is indicated in studies where participants climbed more than 55 flights per week. (Paffenbarger et al. 1993).
- Stair climbing requires about 8-11kcal of energy per minute, which is high compared to other physical activities (Edwards, 1983).
- Active Stair climbers are more fit and have a higher aerobic capacity (Ilmarinen et al, 1978).
- Even two flights of stairs climbed per day can lead to 2.7 kg weight loss over one year (Brownell, Stunkard, and ALbaum, 1980).
- There is a strong association between stair climbing and bone density, in post-menopausal women (Coupland et al. 1999).
- Stair climbing programs can improve the amount of 'good cholesterol' in the blood - HDL concentrations (Wallace and Neill, 2000).
- Stair climbing increases leg power and may be an important priority in reducing the risk of injury from falls in the elderly (Allied Dunbar Survey, 1992).
- Because stair climbing rates are currently very low, increasing population levels of stair climbing could lead to substantial public health dividends (Kerr, 2001).
- Because stair climbing is an activity with which we are all familiar, participants have a high level of confidence in their ability to participate in the activity (Kerr, 2001).