Iowans are encouraged to skip the elevator today and opt for the stairwell instead as part of National Take The Stairs Day.
Heather Johnson, a development manager at the American Lung Association of Iowa, says dozens of students and others at the Des Moines Area Community College fitness center in Ankeny will be taking the stairs — all day long.
“They are going to have students, faculty and community members on their four stair step machines throughout the entire day from 5 A.M. until the facility closes at 10 P.M.,” Johnson says. “They are going to be recording the amount of steps.”
Stair climbing requires eight to 11 calories of energy per minute, so the daylong effort is expected to burn more than 40,000 calories combined. “The point of National Take The Stairs Day is to promote health and fitness,” Johnson says. “We know that stair climbing burns two to three times more calories than any other exercise and it’s really great for your heart and your lungs.”
Johnson says making little changes in our daily lives can help to make a big difference in our health. This day promoting exercise comes at the ideal time, when Iowans are in the midst of winter. “Being active is more difficult because it’s hard to go outside,” Johnson says. “Taking the stairs on the way to your office every day or when you go to the mall, places where you could avoid it, taking the stairs instead is a great way to stay healthy day-to-day in your everyday activities, and that’s really what Take The Stairs Day is all about.”
Most of our smartphones have an app that counts steps or stairs, or an app can typically be downloaded for free.