Health Benefits of Taking the Stairs

If you’ve ever taken a ride in a crowded elevator, then you know it can be awkward.  As a society, we seemed to have adopted a policy of uncomfortable silence when riding in an elevator with others.  That’s why the last Friday in July has been established as “Talk in an Elevator Day,” to encourage us to speak up and make new connections during our daily elevator rides. At Resurgens Orthopaedics, we know that while taking the stairs may not do much for your social life, it will definitely do wonders for your orthopaedic health.  Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider taking the stairs instead of riding the elevator.

Taking the Stairs Burns Calories

A study funded by the United Kingdom Department of Health determined that climbing the stairs burns 7 times more calories than taking the elevator, which amounts to about 1 calorie for every ten stairs.  In the fitness world, stair climbing is considered a vigorous physical activity and it even burns more calories than jogging!  While burning a few calories each time you climb the stairs may not seem like a lot, remember that those calories add up at the end up the day.  If you take a few trips up and down every day, you could end up burning dozens of calories that you wouldn’t have burned if you had taken the elevator.

Health Benefits of Taking the Stairs

Taking the Stairs Improves Cardiovascular Health

Even if you engage in sports or weight training on the regular, many athletes have a tendency to neglect their cardio.  And for those of us who don’t get much exercise, any amount of cardio can be beneficial.  No matter which category you fall into, there’s good news: the vigorous activity you engage in when walking up and down the stairs counts as cardio, and experts agree that as little as 15 minutes of cardio per day can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease when compared to a sedentary lifestyle.

Taking the Stairs Builds Muscle

You’ve seen the stair climber machine at the gym, but what could be better than the real thing?  Climbing the stairs every day can do a lot to strengthen muscles like the quads, calves, and even the core muscles in your torso.  In addition, the balance required to take the stairs can improve proprioception, your body’s ability to sense its position in space.  That means over time, you’ll develop not only greater muscle strength, but better balance and agility as well.

While our advice in this article may run counter to the goals of “Talk in an Elevator Day,” we think that’s a small price to pay for improving the health of our Atlanta community.  If you’re looking to avoid uncomfortable silences (and elevator music), taking the stairs is always a great idea.  All of us at Resurgens Orthopaedics encourage you to take the stairs as much as possible and look for other ways you can get more exercise in your everyday life.