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How Many Calories Can You Burn Climbing Stairs?

author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
How Many Calories Can You Burn Climbing Stairs?
Climbing the stairs can help you add some exercise to everyday life. Photo Credit: Petrol/F1online/Getty Images

When you arrive at work each morning, coffee in hand, it's tempting to ride the elevator to your floor. This process might feel convenient first thing in the morning, but it won't do anything for your physical fitness. A better calorie-burning option is climbing the stairs. On top of its calorie burn, climbing the stairs contributes to your daily workout and can also strengthen your bones and muscles. Just be sure to consult a doctor before switching up your regimen, to make sure it's appropriate and safe for you.

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Better Than the Elevator

Businessman climbing stairs
Businessman climbing stairs Photo Credit: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images

Climbing the stairs doesn't burn a wealth of calories, given the activity takes just a moment. It's far better, however, than standing still in the elevator. HealthStatus notes that a person who weighs 175 pounds burns about 21 calories during a two-minute stair climb. Standing still on a 60-second elevator ride, conversely, burns about two calories. If you climb the stairs several times throughout the day, it's easy to burn more than 100 calories through this exercise alone.

Stepping to Better Health

Step machines at gym
Step machines at gym Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Climbing the stairs is such an effective workout that it's possible to duplicate during a visit to the gym. A stair step machine simulates the repetitive action of climbing the stairs and allows you to burn hundreds of calories per workout. A 175-pound person who uses this machine for 45 minutes, notes HealthStatus, burns about 417 calories.

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