Stairs or elevator? If you think you don’t have time to take the stairs, think again. According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, those who take the stairs actually save time out of their days, when compared with those who ride the elevator. This makes sense, because while elevator goers are waiting for a lift, those who opt for the stairs are already well on their way to their destination.
The study took place at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Researchers selected four doctors at the hospital as volunteers. At the end of the study, it turned out the doctors were much faster than the elevator. By taking the stairs, each doctor saved an average of 15 minutes out of the day. That’s one hour and 15 minutes saved in a typical workweek.
Surprisingly enough, the elevator probably wouldn't be quicker.
Photo by ahisgett/Courtesy Flickr
Taking the stairs also helps add “incidental” exercise to your day, which experts recommend as a way to sneak physical activity into your typical routine. Those calories burned can add up. A 160-pound individual can expend almost 30 calories in three minutes walking up stairs. Do that five times a day, and you’ve got 150 calories without even breaking a sweat.
Of course, not everyone deals with the stairs or elevator dilemma each day. However, adding little bouts of exercise to your life can improve your overall fitness. Here are some additional tips about how to add more “incidental” exercise to your life:
• Sport a pedometer. These inexpensive gadgets let you know just how many steps you take each day. Aim for at least 10,000 steps.
• Walk to the grocery store. If you only have an item or two to purchase, walk to the store instead of hopping in the car.
• Walk and talk. When chatting on your cell phone, walk around the house or outside.
• Take a walk during lunch. No one needs a full hour to eat. So, instead of surfing the ‘net or checking your email, grab a coworker and go for a 15-minute walk.
• Park further away. When visiting the mall, don’t park in the front row. Instead, park a little further so you can walk a little further.
• Lose the remote. Instead of lazing on the couch flipping through channels, physically get up to find your favorite show.