Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Taking the Stairs: A Small Step Toward Workplace Health

StairWalkDoes your organization's disaster recovery plan account for the almost-certain riot that could ensue if your elevators break down? While I may have a flair for the dramatic, check out the crowd reaction to the escalators freezing at Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle stop recently. Your employees might look strikingly similar to these dumbstruck passengers if they were forced to scale the stairs each day.

Look at Stairs as a New Way For Employees to Get Physical Activity at Work

I think people take elevators and escalators almost mindlessly (kind of like how we eat most of the time). It doesn't really enter most individual's consciousness to view stairs as a small but beneficial chance at some extra activity each day.

Climbing stairs burns roughly seven calories per minute for a 150-pound individual. Taking the elevator burns just one calorie per minute for the same person. Over the course of one month, if you choose the stairs for five minutes per day, five days per week, you will burn an extra 750 calories. Over the course of a year, that's more than 9,000 calories burned, which is equal to roughly 2.5 pounds.

Although that isn't staggering weight loss for the year, it does provide you with some buffer for maintaining your weight year to year (assuming your calorie intake is unchanged). Furthermore, for overweight employees who are trying to lose weight, taking the stairs can support that ongoing effort.

Encourage Employees to Forego the Elevator With These Tips

This guide from the California Department of Health Services has extensive tips on encouraging employees to take the stairs at work or comment below to tell us about your healthy stairwell campaign.

Topics: exercise at work employee health overweight employees