Choosing to take the stairs instead of the escalator could make a significant difference in your health! It can help you get enough exercise to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and even heart disease.
This is what a new study by researchers from Concordia University and Peking University suggests. To analyze the health benefits of exercise, these researchers decided to compare the physical efforts involved in using stairs versus escalators. They found that the cumulative effect of using stairs throughout the day could fulfill the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise.
The key is to encourage people to use the stairs! There's no doubt that changing this simple habit would allow everyone to find time to get those 30 minutes of daily exercise recommended by doctors. However, the temptation to take the escalator is often stronger. So, the focus of this study is: How can we encourage people to take the stairs even if it's not their instinct? The study's results suggest that designing escalators twice the length of stairs would lead users to choose the stairs due to the perceived time savings. Designing stairs wider than escalators could also encourage users to make that choice.
These simple modifications to public spaces would be very beneficial as they would encourage daily exercise. Nevertheless, until governments are receptive to these arguments, we can all, on a personal level, resolve to prefer stairs over escalators! Doing so will help us stay healthier for longer and reduce the risks of heart disease, hypertension, or diabetes.
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