Often easily accessible, a flight of stairs can become an effective and efficient exercise tool. Stair climbing does not require a gym membership or expensive exercise equipment, and stairs can offer a workout either indoors or out.
A person weighing 160 lbs. will burn 102 calories walking up and down stairs for 10 minutes. By running, the calories burned will increase to 191. For a person who weighs 200 lbs., walking up and down stairs burns 127 calories in 10 minutes, while running the stairs burns 239 calories.
Stair climbing builds endurance and strengthens muscles. Sedentary college-aged women in a study published in "Preventative Medicine" showed signs of cardiovascular health benefits after seven weeks of stair climbing. Over time, their oxygen uptake, heart rate and blood lactate levels went down during climbing. Also, their good cholesterol, or HDL, levels showed an increase after the seven weeks.
A high-intensity total body workout, stair climbing is popular among people who feel like they don’t have enough time to exercise. Ten minutes of stair climbing is about the same as 20 minutes of running, according to Stair Climbing Sport.