Although Delhi Metro provides escalators and lifts for commuters' comfort, the latest campaign launched by the DMRC is asking the passengers to use stairs for staying fit and keeping health problems at bay. ''Climbing stairs has been the best kept secret to preserve good health. It has now been proved that this is not only one of the best ways to keep weight off and stay healthy, but also safer than escalators and elevators,'' said a senior DMRC official.
He said, ''A flight of stairs for just 20 minutes can burn 130 calories, which is more than those burnt during aerobic dancing for the same period.'' Riding stairs is the best way to reduce body fat and burn calories. Its ideal for heart and waistline and reduces blood sugar levels of the body. Its 50 per cent more efficient than lifting weights, he added.
It also enhances efficiency at work and improves body resistance.
It is effective in increasing blood circulation and improves our leg strength and balance, the official underlined.
Buzz has it that fitness buff, Madonna, would climb stairs (50 flights according to one unconfirmed report!) when she is on tour and not able to do her usual workout. Athletes have a similar workout. They use sports stadium bleacher stairs to improve muscular endurance in the legs and increase cardiovascular stamina. Stair climbing as an alternate form of exercise has been mimicked by various fitness equipment companies who have come up with mechanical and electronic ''stair climbers and steppers''.
Bollywood 'Khiladi' Akshay Kumar also walks up and down the stairs every day to scale new heights in fitness. During the shoot for 'Singh Is King' in Australia's Gold Coast, Akshay did exactly that at the place he was staying Q-1. This is the tallest residential tower in the world. Akshay would walk up the 80-storey building every night after pack-up.
Not only Akshay, but top models, including 'dream-boat' Jas Arora, Aryan Vaidya, 'dancing queen' Madhuri Dikshit and even industrialist Anil Ambani, too ascend a flight of stairs a day to stayfit and healthy, according to reports.
Stair climbing uses the muscles of the legs, in particular the quadriceps (front of the thighs) and the buttocks. It can be an intense activity both for the heart and leg muscles, because one carries his body weight against gravity. It is low impact and safe for knee joints so long as one follows the guidelines of not doing too much too soon and does not have any existing knee problems that may be aggravated.
In terms of calorie burning, it is time-efficient as one can burn a large amount of calories in a short span of time - approximately 300 calorie for 30 minutes (actual caloric expenditure depends on body weight and rate of climbing).
With regards to escalators, safety is also a major concern in its design. Fire protection of an escalator floor-opening may be provided by adding automatic sprinklers or fireproof shutters to the opening, or by installing the escalator in an enclosed fire-protected hall.
To limit the danger of overheating, adequate ventilation for the spaces that contain the motors and gears must be provided.