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?