Take the Stairs (and Burn 7 Calories)

Upon visiting my apartment, a new friend said, “I would never buy a walk-up. There are too many stairs.”  I don’t share my friend’s opinion. I prefer to be grateful when “forced to be fit.”

My building was erected in 1916.  I live on the third of four floors. From the sidewalk, there are 39 steps to my apartment door. The 39 Steps like the Alfred Hitchcock 1935 film, and The 39 Steps Monsterpiece Theater classic. (Remember Grover?)  And almost like The 40 Steps on the Newport Cliff Walk back at home.

In total, there are 39 stairs, plus 33 walking steps across the lobby and the landings. I climb the 39 steps many time throughout the day to check the mail, throw away the trash, enter the basement, and leave the house in general, plus repeat in forgetfulness. Not to shabby in the stair climbing department, right? Not so fast.

One round of 39 steps takes me half a minute. I timed it. I burn six calories going up and one calorie going down – 7 calories for one round of 39 steps! I found that at Calorie Count. They calculate that I burn 381 calories per hour climbing up stairs. Because I helped the developers, I know those figures are based on The Compendium of Physical Activities, the last word on calories burned in activities, no matter how mundane.

I think most people would have guessed more than seven calories for my steps, but it just goes to show how efficient our bodies are. And so, if I do 10 rounds of steps, I burn 70 calories. That’s the calories in one apple, or ten almonds, or 1½ Oreo cookies, etc. – for 10 rounds. I think most people would have guessed more.

Your thoughts: Are you surprised by that measly number?







5 thoughts on “Take the Stairs (and Burn 7 Calories)

  1. Pingback: How Did You Burn Some Calories Today? – Ezhealthcents

  2. Hi Mary,

    First of, we have enjoyed interacting with you via Twitter! Love your #AskMaryRD #healthy bites. Then, that number *SEVEN* does seem X SMALL!!!

    Bottom line? Take more stairs, walk more and find opportunities for integrated fitness activities throughout the day to burn more (laughter only at 1.3 calories/min? 🙂 then, value and appreciate your food one calorie at a time 😉

    Stay healthy and talk to you soon,

    CarrotLines App Team

    • Amen! 7 calories here and 7 calories there – they all add up. Just don’t eat them back in a nanosecond! Thank you so much for visiting my blog.

  3. No I was not surprised by the “measly” numbers for I did the same thing when calculating how many calories I burned taking the stairs at work to get to my floor! Indeed the numbers are humbling which goes to show that one must appreciate every NEAT activity. They do add up once you make it into a habit. As a runner taking the stairs help me build up stamina to run uphill.

    Thanks for this writeup Mary. It made me feel less geeky. 🙂

    • I’ll talk nutrition-geek with you all day long! Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

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