Friday, September 3, 2010

Taking the Stairs

I have noticed lately that there has been an increase in people taking the elevator to go up or down one floor within a building. This has become the automatic way of thinking; the stairs don't even exist in most people’s minds. The stairs are for an emergency exit only, not to be used on a daily basis.

In most buildings the staircase is located right next to the elevator bank. I have done tests in most buildings that I frequent and it takes less time just to walk up instead of going through the production of waiting for and taking an elevator up one flight of stairs. In most cases it even takes less time to jog up two flights of stairs instead of waiting for an elevator.

Elevators were originally invented in 1853 as a mechanism for hoisting equipment. It also enabled buildings to become more vertical and climb into the sky, creating the metropolis we have today. I really don’t think that the elevator was invented to aid in the laziness of today’s society.

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, you get exercise, you get blood pumping and by stepping outside the norm you are breaking the cycle of boredom.

Exercise is no longer a natural part of our lives. Sadly, we now have to learn how to take healthy steps; health and exercise are not at our forefront of thinking. We now have learn to think outside the box to get that little bit of exercise in a day we all so desperately need. The North American society as a general has become stagnant, with the couch potato-video game playing-driving to the corner store mentality. This is exactly what is keeping the obesity statistics so high in this day and age.

Invention and technology is no longer helping us. Yes, technology is helping with the economy of time and the economy of consumerism, but is that really what we as a society needs? Gone are the stories grandmothers used to tell of walking to school each day 5 miles each way up hill. Gone are the commuters that walk or ride bikes to work.

How can we teach our children to adopt a healthy lifestyle and break the unhealthy cycles we have developed over time when we ourselves don't even second guess our decisions to take the elevator instead of the stairs?

The first step we need to take is the steps to take the stairs up or down 1 flight or 2 or 3 to our offices or appointments. We need to park one level up or down in the parking garage or further away from where you normally park. We need to get up and walk around each hour when you have a job where you are required to sit at the computer all day. The decision to not watch television and go for a walk or ride a bike or walk to the grocery store and buy only what you can carry home, will create a way of thinking that will start the healthy ball rolling in our society again.

With simple steps we can go very far!

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