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The Elevator vs. the Stairs: The Benefits of Stair Climbing

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Why stairs are the better, healthier option.

Why stairs are the better, healthier option.

The Stairs Versus the Elevator

Just imagine, your flat is on the 7th floor of a building. How do you go up? You have two options, an elevator or a staircase. Choosing a staircase would be the better, healthier, and in some cases, even faster option. Climbing up and down stairs engages lots of muscles in your body, and is a great way to work out in a subtle, everyday sort of way. You can consider the stairs in your apartment building to be like a fitness centre!

Benefits of Taking the Stairs

  • Burns fat
  • Lowers tension, anxiety, and depression
  • Makes you feel refreshed and vibrant
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases and arthritis
  • Stair exercise is more engaging than flat ground walking; thus, it is useful even if you exercise for the same amount of time.

Walking stairs builds strength and endurance in your entire lower body–your quads, calves, glutes and, to a lesser degree, hamstrings. Because your feet and legs carry your full body weight as you go up and down the stairs, this type of exercise also builds bone density in your lower body and lumbar spine.


More Health Benefits

According to, climbing up stairs engages several muscle groups, improves cardiovascular health, and even increases your ability to balance. Also, as with any maintained exercise, it gets easier the more you do it! In a post written for, writer Lindsay Tigar shared her experience with walking up her apartment stairs every day for a month:

Ascending the stairs in my building feels like second nature and, frankly, is a lot faster than waiting for the elevator. I also gained strength in my legs, my stomach, and my glutes to help me fly up stairs faster than I ever have before, making them feel less intimidating or troublesome. I also created a ripple effect of sorts with my friends: Because I was doing this challenge and working at getting less dependent on elevators, I encouraged them to do it with me, especially when we were together.

Not only did the 30-Day Stair Challenge help increase Tigar's endurance but it also boosted her confidence and gave her something to bond with her friends over. The list goes on!

The Stairs Might Be Faster

In some cases, taking the stairs can be even faster than taking the elevator! You don't have to stand in line, wait for the elevator to get to your floor, or share a cramped space with a bunch of strangers.

A staircase... or a gym!

A staircase... or a gym!

The Ideal Way to Climb Stairs

Similar to walking on flat ground, you should keep your toes in an 11-shape while climbing stairs. To gain momentum and ascend up, tilt your upper body forward and swing your arms back and forth. The most crucial aspect is to raise the foot, utilizing the strength of the thigh muscles rather than the knee and calf muscles and gently lowering the heel of the leg on the next step down. This will reduce muscle fatigue and help you avoid knee problems. If you bend your upper body to climb the stairs because it is tough, you must be careful not to strain your lower back.

See the video below to learn more about how to walk up stairs properly.

Start Slowly

We can see many people who have lived long lives by eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly. Walking takes practice. Climbing 20,000 steps or walking 20 miles in a single day appears to be difficult. It must be gradually increased. According to research, persons who walk frequently had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Why don't we devote 15-20 minutes per day to our health?

Generally speaking, it's advised to strive for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week for health, but if that's challenging, at least 20 minutes a day, three times a week is acceptable. Following that, try to raise the rate and duration as much as possible.

Man climbing stairs

Man climbing stairs

The Takeaway

Our legs begin to weaken as we grow, which can lead to pain and fractures. Walking and climbing stairs help to balance the lower body. Aerobic exercise improves intellectual capabilities. When you exercise, your brain will get more blood supply than usual; this stimulates the thinking capability of your brain.

Due to regular exercise, our muscles tend to become stronger and healthier. Our body will become capable of healing wounds quickly. A simple workout does not require much effort. Simply alter your way of life, one step at a time!


  • “Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health - Benefits of Stair Climbing.” Centre for Health Protection,
  • Elizabeth Timms 1/8/2020 General Health. “5 Good Reasons to Take the Stairs and Added Health Benefits.” Healthy Balance, 8 Jan. 2020,
  • “Human Resources.” Benefits of Taking the Stairs | Human Resources,,healthy%20bones%2C%20muscles%20and%20joints.
  • Mulrooney, Marie. “Does Walking up and down Stairs for 20 Minutes a Day Help?”, 16 Apr. 2018,
  • The Health Benefits of Stair Climbing Exercise | US News.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.