Thursday, November 6, 2014

The stairs vs the escalator from Weighty Matters and Obesity Week in Boston

I was intrigued at the time lapse video that Yoni Freedhoff, MD captured at the Obesity Week Conference.

Link to the video  and Dr. Freedhoff's blog here

So, about 90-95% of the attendees took the escalator. Very, very interesting. There could be many reasons to do that. If I put myself into their shoes, I would take the escalator for these reasons:

 Rare Occurrence:
Mid-conversation where you are getting the best scoop ever from a highly respected colleague, your own knee problem, bout of positional vertigo from travel, hauling wheeled luggage.

My New Normal
( a person who had obesity for 40 years and is now normal weight (see I used people first language!) for 2.75 years)

1. I seek out places to walk from point A to Point B- example the Phoenix Airport, I'll walk the carpet
2. I'll  take the stairs in the hotel if it's 8 stories or less, if time permits.
3. I'll take the stairs at conference centers, malls, theme parks, events to get in 5-6 miles/day.
4. I'll seek out safe walking routes from the hotels for before, during, and after events.
5. I prioritize my time so that I can walk, because I use walking as a tool so I won't return to the obese state.
6. I have much gratitude that I reversed my obese state before I had major knee damage. I know that others are not as fortunate. 
7. I am also fortunate that I do not have other disease states (MS runs in my family) where the stairs are a mobility issue.

Here were my comments on the blog post:  Signs, follow the leader, peer pressure. The second video will be different than the first, in my opinion. Walking the Talk. Literally.
What I did when I was obese:  note:  I was able bodied then
1. I would use the escalator, elevator, walk ways while traveling
2. Never take the stairs, always elevator ( I would get winded)
3. I would avoid walking, or just use it to get from place to place.
4. I would walk 4-5,000 steps and be pretty tired.
5. I still walked a lot  for hiking when I was obese, but I sat much, much more.
6. I had joint pain, but didn't take effective action fast when I was obese. My tiny frame was not made for 70 extra pounds.
7.  I was slowly headed to less and less mobility at my own hand. Something I did have power over.

Okay, if you are able bodied- do you seek out walking? Would you have taken the stairs? I would have 95% of the time as part of my new normal.


  1. I usually go for a walk at lunch. But 13 flights of stairs to the office is too much: I'd be a little sweaty and late for work.

  2. When Stu and I travel we always take the stairs. On the cruise we went on we usually had 8 levels to climb on a regular basis. The only time we don't take the stairs is when they look dangerous - ie, dark and not safe. Unfortunately most buildings now "hide" the stairs in favour of the elevator!