28 February 2006

Why weight for the lift?

Affected by the power failures? Check how many calories you are burning while climbing those dreaded stairs!

Next time, consider climbing the stairs instead of taking the lift. You'll not only be improving your fitness levels, but will also be shedding a few unwanted kilos.

And, in case of a power failure, you'll be ready and able to climb the steps to your office with ease.

We did the maths for you:

  • A 70-kg person burns 10 calories per minute when ascending, and 7 calories per minute when descending, a flight of stairs.
  • Therefore, if you climb up 10 sets of stairs (which will take an average of 5 minutes), you will burn 50 calories. That's more or less the equivalent of one slice of bread for a 5-minute workout. Pretty impressive!
  • Also, if you climb up 10 sets of stairs every day of the work week, you will have burnt an additional 250 calories by the end of the week.
  • By burning an extra 3500 calories per week, or by cutting 3500 calories from your diet, you can lose between 0,5 and 1 kg of weight per week. So, climbing stairs will definitely help towards reaching your weight-loss goals.
  • If every person who works in a building with 2000 employees climbs 10 flights of stairs every day of the work week, the group of employees would have burnt a collective 500 000 calories by the end of the week. Altogether, they would have lost approximately 143 kg of weight at the end of just one week.

More interesting facts:

  • 10 minutes of stair climbing represents 33% of the 30 minutes of daily exercise recommended by experts.
  • In a study conducted in airports, banks, office buildings and university libraries, researchers found that only 6 – 9% of people chose to use the stairs instead of the lifts or escalators.

Use our Climbing Steps Calculator to work out calories burnt when climbing stairs.


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Exercise benefits for seniors »

Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running

Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness

When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them.