Modern conveniences are fabulous. Push a button, flip a switch. Soon, controlling your entire household may be as simple as blinking your eye. But, what about the downside of easy living? After all, exactly how much effort does it require to blink an eye?
…Or to walk up a flight of stairs?
Researchers in Switzerland decided to take their lab to the everyday work world. They were especially interested in the effect of the elevator on employee’s health. So, they enlisted 69 employees with a less-than-active lifestyle and put them through their paces for 12 weeks. In this case, the paces were dutifully completed on the stairways of the office building in which they worked.
The participants increased their average daily flights of stairs taken by over fourfold. Prior to the study they averaged just five flights of stairs per day – during the study they averaged 23. Their efforts paid off.
The participant’s aerobic capacity increased dramatically. The increase correlated to a 15 percent reduction in risk of dying prematurely. That’s impressive for a 12-week routine of taking the stairs. They also decreased their waist size, reduced body fat, and lowered both blood pressure and cholesterol.
So, now you know. When you go to work tomorrow walk right past that tiny little tin box and hit the stairs. Your heart will thank you – for many, many years to come.
To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To learn more about starting a walking exercise program, see this from The Walking Site.