Walking up stairs is physically demanding, causing high levels of perceived exertion and increased oxygen consumption compared to level walking. While stair-climbing exercise can be used to improve one’s cardiorespiratory fitness, individuals often choose the elevator for convenience and to minimize perceived exertion. Determining if a single step or double step method of stair-climbing requires different levels of oxygen consumption, and thereby exertion, could provide useful information potentially encouraging people to use the stairs. PURPOSE: This study was performed to determine whether stair-climbing using the single step method or double step method on a staircase creates greater oxygen consumption. The single step method was also done on a stepmill machine to have a standardized comparison between a building’s staircase and a workout machine. METHODS: Twelve participants (20±1 years) walked up a staircase at a set pace for 4 trials. Participants returned to perform the single step method on a stepmill machine. Each trial was done under the same time constraints using a metronome. Oxygen consumption was measured using a portable metabolic device (PNOĒ). Data was analyzed using a one-way repeated measures ANOVA on SPSS. RESULTS: Oxygen consumption for the double step method (2521 ± 367 ml/min) was significantly greater (pCONCLUSION: Even when matched for total work rate, the double step method requires higher oxygen consumption. This study supports previous literature that determines double step as a method that requires more energy expenditure.
Banawis, Chelsea and Merritt, Edward
"Metabolic Costs of Stair-Stepping Methods,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 2:
12, Article 125.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol2/iss12/125