Students climb the stairs at the MLC on the first day of class, Aug. 11, 2016 in Athens, Ga. Photo/ Landon Trust

It’s no secret that Athens, and thus the University of Georgia, is hilly. Walking to class may mean burning calves and unsightly pit stains due to the stairs all over campus.

The indoors are not safe from stairs as well. It’s easy to take the elevator to forgo stairs, considering that there are so many stairs around campus with no elevator to entice you. However, stairs offer subtle benefits that elevators cannot provide. Able-bodied students should take stairs whenever possible for personal health, financial and environmental reasons.

As with any electrical device, using an elevator contributes to the mining and burning of fossil fuel, and the subsequent emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere. For reasons similar to turning lights off when you’re not in the room, you should forgo elevators when your only reason to use them is laziness. Reducing energy consumption whenever possible decreases UGA’s carbon footprint, which benefits the environment.

But savings don’t just stop there, especially if you’re the type of person who needs a cup of coffee from Starbucks to wake up in the morning. According to research from Dr. Patrick O’Connor at the UGA Department of Kinesiology, you could get a totally free wake up in the morning. Dr. O’Connor’s research shows that moderate-impact exercise through climbing stairs has an energizing effect that exceeds a small dose of caffeine. Why buy coffee when you can climb the stairs for free?

Not only are there mental and electrical energy benefits, but health benefits as well. Olivia Rascoe, a third year public relations and communications studies double major, sees such benefits. The stairs allow her to exercise without taking time out of her day to do it.

“My freshman year, I thought I was going to die because I was taking stairs, but you know, it was like everyday was leg day,” Rascoe said.

Overall, climbing stairs is an easy physical activity that offers multiple perks with little time involved. You can incorporate it into your busy schedule, getting the exercise you need daily without carving out time to go to the gym. Stair climbing is simple and readily available on campus. Sorry Ramsey.

When it comes to better health, energy and time management, choose the stairs instead of the elevator. Getting in the habit of taking stairs over the elevator may be difficult, but remind yourself you just need to take it one step at a time.

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