Physical Activity

Stair Climbing

Mercia Van Der Walt/ Physical Educator
07 August, 2017

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Everyday physical activity such as walking and stair climbing is associated with health improvements over a period of time according to scientific evidence. Stair climbing is seen as a vigorous form of activity which increases your heartbeat and burns more calories than jogging. It is easy to include stair climbing into your daily life even if you have limited time as ten minutes of stair climbing is the same as 20 minutes jogging.

Stair climbing is easy as it does not require any special skill, training, gym membership, expensive equipment and can be done indoors or outside. You can start by doing a few flights of steps and build this up as you get fitter.

Additional benefits of stair climbing

  • Increase the immune system and reduces the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and osteoporosis.
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness.
  • Improves muscle tone.
  • Stronger musculoskeletal system
  • Reduces stress, aids sleep and makes you feel better

In addition to the abovementioned benefits, stair climbing is an activity which if we continue over a period of time makes a significant impact on our long-term wellbeing.

According to research stair climbing can increase productivity and increase fitness as found in a study at the Royal University Hospital where staff frequently move from one floor to another and either using stairs or the elevator.  Another study done on sedentary young women showed cardiovascular benefits after a seven-week stair climbing program which could further increase public health.

Why stair climbing?

  • It is an effective way to lose weight as you burn three times more calories walking up the stairs at even a slow pace compared to walking at a faster speed on a flat surface.
  • You will not get fit overnight by climbing one set of stairs, however, after a week of using the stairs most people feel stronger and over a period of timeevery extra step counts and the benefits will be great.
  • Stair climbing burns more calories than jogging but not more than running.
  • Actual stair climbing burns more calories compared stair climbing machines used in the gym
  • Stair climbing tones your muscles by using your natural body weight.

Although stair climbing is generally safe for healthy adults with numerous health benefits, it could be less safe for people with heart conditions, knee, hip or ankle problems and is therefore advisable to consult your doctor.

In general stair climbing should be seen as powerful walking.



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