Take control of your health by taking the stairs

Your heart will thank you for avoiding elevators and escalators.
source-image
Sep 02, 2008
By dvm360.com staff

Veterinary practice employees, you sometimes neglect your own health when focusing on the needs of your patients. But a new study shows it's easier than you might think to improve your fitness levels. In fact, it may be as simple as skipping the elevator in favor of the stairs, according to a study by the University Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland.

By hoofing it up the stairs for three months rather than riding in an elevator, study subjects enjoyed a 15 percent decrease in their risk of premature death. They also saw a reduction in waist size, body fat, blood pressure, and cholesterol, which are all risk factors for heart disease.

Researchers studied 69 people who exercised less than two hours a week and climbed fewer than 10 flights of stairs a day. By avoiding the elevator for three months, the people increased their stair stepping from an average of five stories a day to 23. And they all obtained a sharp increase in fitness levels.

While researchers acknowledged that these results should be confirmed in a larger study, the findings prove that it doesn't take much to get started on the road toward fitness. Start by taking the stairs. Better yet, walk a dog up the stairs with you.