Stair Climbing to Health
Studies reveal that 30 minutes of physical activity of moderate intensity everyday is beneficial to health. It helps you to control body weight, promotes cardiovascular fitness and is good for your psychological and social health. The World Health Organization also recommends adults to accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate intensive aerobic physical activities each week. Nowadays, many people do not participate into regular physical activities because they find they are "busy". However, for sake of your own health, you should try your best to be more physically active. Stair climbing is one of the ways of incorporating physical activity into daily life. It is a convenient and easily accessible exercise for the majority of people, especially the sedentary people. Stair climbing is a low-cost and readily accessible form of exercise that provides a series of health benefits if we do it everyday:
- It enhances heart and lung function and improves blood circulation.
- It reduces the risk of developing coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes or colon cancer.
- It increases body resistance, thus reduces the chance of contracting diseases and increases efficiency at work.
- It leads to healthy bones and lowers the risk of osteoporosis.
- It strengthens muscles.
- It helps burn body fat, thereby controlling body weight.
- Size of footwear should be fit to provide cushioning and stability for walking.
- Plenty of room for the toes with a snug, comfortable heel.
- Solid support and good cushioning inside the shoe.
- Firm, resistant heel counter outside the shoe.
- Non-slippery sole. Shoes should be flexible.
- Wear socks.
- Make sure that you warm up at the beginning and cool down towards the end of your exercise session.
- Choose the platform height that would not require bending your knees more than 90 degrees.
- The stair should be dry, well-lit, well-ventilated and free of obstacles.
Keep good posture
- While stepping, relax your neck and keep it straight.
- Keep your back straight. Do not arch your back which may cause back pain.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed.
Keep correct stepping technique
- Always place the entire foot on the platform.
- Step quietly. Pounding can unduly stress the ankles and knees.
- Keep an eye on the platform at all times.
- Do not use hand weights. They greatly increase the risk of injury and provide no benefit.
- Climb slowly.
- Start by going up and down short flights or half flights rather than tackling one long staircase. Take rest if necessary.
- Do not take deep stairs or several shallow ones at a time.
Seek medical advice before starting the exercise programme if
- You have chronic medical disease, e.g. heart disease, respiratory disease.
- You experience chest pain or discomfort during or right after exercise.
- You tend to lose consciousness due to dizziness.
- You feel shortness of breath after mild exertion.
- You are middle-aged or older, have not been physically active and plan a relatively vigorous exercise programme.
- You have joint problems, e.g. you experience pain, aching, stiffness or swelling in or around a joint.
Ways to incorporate stair climbing into your daily life
- Using stairs instead of elevators or escalators if possible.
- Walking a few flights of stairs when you go to work or go home.
Promoting stair climbing campaign in the organization, workplace and housing blocks is an easy and interesting health promoting activity. Take a look at the followings if you are interested to organise stair climbing promotion campaign: