Stairs vs Elevator

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Story Updated: Oct 2, 2012

As the elevator doors slide open, people often forget about another choice that can help them lose weight. Here's your reminder.

The little decisions we make, day in and day out, can have a big impact on our weight. In a new study, researchers looked at how to help people make a healthy choice when deciding between the elevator and the stairs.

They focused on three buildings, ranging from three to 10 stories high. They measured how many people were using the stairs compared to the elevator. Then they posted a sign with the reminder, Burn Calories, not Electricity.

After the researchers put up the signs, people started using the stairs in all the buildings nine to nearly 35 percent more often. Even nine months after the signs were installed, people were much more likely to use the stairs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a 150-pound person burns about 10 calories each minute while walking up stairs. If you live or work in a tall building, you could burn off enough calories to treat yourself to a little dessert each week!

And over the course of a year, making little changes like this one can help your clothes fit better and your bathroom scales present a number that makes you happier!

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.

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