The University of Ulster at Jordanstown in the United Kingdom enrolled 22 women in a study to evaluate the effects of short periods of exercise on overall health. One group made no changes in their lifestyles, while the other stopped using the elevator and started taking the stairs.
Using a rather long staircase -- 199 stairs -- the study group started with one ascent a day, and at the end of seven weeks was going up the stairs six or seven times each day.
At the end of the seven-week study, the control group's health hadn't changed. But the study group had lower overall cholesterol, a higher HDL (good cholesterol) level and could climb the stairs with lower oxygen consumption and a slower heart rate.