One of the greatest benefits of climbing stairs may very well be its convenience. Staircases are often easily accessible and climbing them doesn't cost a penny. No pricey membership needed, and no equipment necessary. And convenience is just the tip of the iceberg. Stair climbing can lead to better heart and lung function; healthier bones, muscles and joints; and a slimmer figure.
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Climbing stairs can improve overall health, boosting the immune system and decreasing the risk of certain diseases.
Read more: What Does Stair Climbing Do For Your Body?
Benefits of Taking the Stairs
According to Duke University, climbing stairs requires around 8 to 11 kilocalories of energy per minute, a high amount compared to other forms of moderate-level exercise.
In fact, walking up stairs can be twice as taxing as brisk walking and 50 percent more difficult than lifting weights or walking up a steep incline. In addition, peak exertion is attained at a quicker rate than by just walking, which explains the labored breathing after only a few flights up.
Increases Heart and Lung Function
Climbing stairs can strengthen your heart and lungs, allowing you to take in more oxygen and replenish your muscles with oxygen-rich blood. Over time, an increase in heart and lung function can improve your overall endurance.
One 2019 study, published in the journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, found that just a few minutes of stair climbing in short intervals throughout the day can boost cardiovascular health.
Healthy Bones, Muscles and Joints
Trekking up stairs can improve bone, muscle and joint function. Not only will it help to build strong and lean leg muscles from engaging your glutes, calves, quadriceps and hamstrings, but it will also strengthen your bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
In citing the benefits of taking the stairs, Duke University notes a strong correlation between stair climbing and bone density in postmenopausal women. In a 2018 study in Menopause, researchers also found that climbing stairs led to a reduction in arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women with stage 2 hypertension.
Read more: Does Stair Climbing Build Muscle?
Calorie Burner and Health Booster
This may seem like an obvious benefit: Stair climbing can help you burn calories. As a matter of fact, according to Harvard Health Publishing, even at a slow pace, you'll burn calories three times faster climbing stairs than walking on a level surface.
After learning about the various benefits of taking the stairs, it's no surprise that this physical activity can improve your overall health, reducing the risk of diseases such as diabetes, colon cancer, hypertension, and more, while strengthening your immune system.
Furthermore, regular cardiovascular exercise can lower your risk of developing chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Climbing stairs can also improve the amount of good cholesterol in the blood. There's no doubt that taking advantage of the nearest staircase can have its health benefits.
Read more: How to Train for a Stair Climbing Event
- County of Santa Clara: "Health Advantages: Benefits of Stair Climbing"
- Centre for Health Protection: "Benefits of Stair Climbing"
- Duke Human Resources: "Benefits of Taking the Stairs"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Walking: Your Steps to Health"
- NRC: "Do Stair Climbing Exercise 'Snacks' Improve Cardiorespiratory Fitness?"
- Menopause:"The Effects of Stair Climbing on Arterial Stiffness, Blood Pressure, and Leg Strength in Postmenopausal Women With Stage 2 Hypertension"