The only dormitory in Bucknell with an elevator is McDonald building. I lived there my junior year on the 4th floor, which is at the same time the last one. The elevator was so extensively used, quite often students and, occasionally, their parents had to wait to get upstairs. Whenever I had to stand in line for an elevator, I would immediately leave and consider alternative ways to get up. If you, my dear reader, thought of stairs, you are a healthy person. However, I, being the laziest person in that building, would only choose 4 stair flights over a comfy elevator as a last resort. Instead of taking stairs all the way up to the 4th floor, I would go up to 2nd floor either running up the hated stairs or taking an elevator on opposite side of the building. Further, I would go back to the in-demand elevator, enter it before the cabin reached the crowded 1st floor and drove up enjoying all the free space inside the cabin.
My poor choices regarding the elevator and stair usage are not exemplary. Choosing stairs over an elevator is not an easy decision to make, but it is quite beneficial in long-run. Firstly, stair climbing is just a good opportunity to exercise. Depending on how often you use the elevator, taking stairs instead of an elevator might give the same effect as jogging, since the vertical component actually makes it harder than running on a flat surface. . Although it actually is not a full-scale workout, it nurtures healthy habits. Eventually, the walk to the far end of a parking lot might not seem as a nightmare anymore. You might as well start walking or biking to work. Additionally, climbing stairs strengthens your body, reducing the chance to catch cold or get a heart disease. Doing small exercises on regular basis also helps keep your body in fit. Not only does it look attractive to others, but also raises your self-esteem and confidence.
In addition to all the physical perks, climbing stairs also has mental benefits. Every time you climb a flight, your body releases chemical endorphins, a type of neurotransmitter, making you feel happy and calm. Over time, your ability to focus and concentrate will improve, and you will feel less stressed out. Also think about the time you would waste waiting for an elevator or in line. Doesn’t it feel good to save some time, especially if your destination is only couple of floors above or below?
Finally, taking stairs instead of elevator reduces the energy consumption. Just think about the number of times you used to take an elevator. Just how much energy did it take to carry your unfit body upstairs? Even if others take the elevator, you still do reduce the weight a poor machine has to pull up and down.
Taking stairs over an elevator is by itself not a big decision to make, but it will lead to others. Eventually, a little bit of effort and willpower will result in healthy lifestyle. Just think how much impact such a small change might bring to your life. What if every single person in the world made this tiny change to their lifestyle? It would definitely be great. Start with yourself – next time you think about taking an elevator, slap yourself and take the stairs!