TEEN HEALTH Published September24, 2014 By Staff Writer

Taking the Stairs Beneficial to Health

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(Photo : Emelie Schäfer from The Netherlands)

Numerous studies have found that taking the stairs is beneficial to the health.

In fact, being a vigorous and intense activity, climbing the stairs has been proven to burn more calories than jogging. This was confirmed by the company Step Jockey, funded by the United Kingdom Department of Health. The company aims to advocate for people to take the stairs whenever and wherever possible, as it expends 8 to 9 times more energy than sitting and about 7 times more energy than taking the elevator. Step Jockey adds that not only does calorie burning happen when you walk up the stairs but also on the way down. The average individual burns at least 0.1 calories per ascending step, and 0.05 calories per descending step. A big bonus, according to Step Jockey, is that the more a person weighs, the more calories are burned when climbing the stairs.

Meanwhile, a Harvard Alumni Health Study has found that climbing the stairs can help reduce the risk of stroke due to its physical nature. In this study of over 11,000 men, it was found that climbing a equivalent of 3 to 5 flights of stairs a day can reduce stroke risk by up to 29 percent.

Research has also shown that climbing the stairs, which is a form of vigorous exercise, improves cardiovascular fitness.

Choosing to take the stairs instead of the lift also helps in strengthening muscles. Using skeletal muscle, which is what is done in stair climbing, creates a lasting positive impact on improving blood sugar, helping prevent and manage the onset of diabetes. Climbing the stairs also improves overall musculosketal health, reducing arthritis pain.

Stair climbing also wards off the implications of a sedentary lifestyle, as backed up by countless studies. Taking th stairs is a convenient way to easily add more physical activity to a routine. As the World Health Organization has pointed out, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the contributing factors to the global obesity epidemic. Finding ways to incorporate movement in everyday life is crucial, and climbing flights of stairs is quick and accessible.

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