Remember when I was in Japan I found the answer to how many calories you burn off climbing just one stair – if not, then click here as there’s a handy photo that tells you – well it seems that exactly how many you consume depends whether you go up one step at a time or two.
Now you’d think that two would be better – after all you have to do it faster, and it engages your glutes more (and we all know that big muscles are good muscles when it comes to torching calories). No surprise therefore that in a recent trial by UK researchers when it comes to the figures on paper two at a time wins – burning 9.2 calories a minute versus 8.5 calories for single stepping.
However, there’s a sneaky spanner in the works. The average flight of stairs is finite – and, by going up two at a time you take less time to climb them and are therefore moving for a shorter period. This means in the end you burn fewer calories overall than you would if you climbed them one at a time. In fact, the researchers concluded that in total people climbing five flights of 14 metre high stairs five times a week one at a time burned 302 calories and 260 calories covering the same distance taking two at a time.
So, there you go – forget charging up and getting to the top all flustered, take it slow and you’ll actually burn more energy. Oooh, how I like it when the tortoise gets to beat the hare!