Walking stairs provides an efficient low-impact cardiovascular workout that also builds strength in your lower body. The vertical nature of stairs presents a unique challenge for the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Most exercise and athletic activity consists of moving forward or laterally, such as jogging, walking and cycling, whereas the upward motion used to climb stairs requires your body to move in an alternative direction. Working your muscles from different angles can help you to maximize muscle growth.
Walking stairs can burn 472 calories per hour for someone weighing 130 pounds and up to 690 calories per hour if you weigh 190 pounds, according to State of Wisconsin’s Department of Health and Family Services. That's comparable to running at the pace of 5 mph, playing in a basketball game, or bicycling at a moderate speed of 12 to 13 mph.