Are you feeling tired at work? Forget coffee or soda. A study shows that there is a more effective way to boost your energy. What do you think about walking the stairs?
Research at the University of Georgia, United States, shows that walking ten minutes up and down the stairs at a low-intensity pace gives more energy than drinking 50 milligrams of caffeine or one can of soda.
The purpose of the study was to simulate an office setting where workers spend hours sitting and staring at computer screens, not having enough time to exercise for a longer period.
Leading researcher Patrick J. O’Connor, and professor in the department of kinesiology or human movement sciences, wanted to find an exercise that could be achieved by office workers. Walking up and down the stairs was the most obvious choice. ‘Office workers can go outside and walk, but weather can be less than ideal’, says O’Connor ‘And a lot of office buildings have stairs, so it’s an option to keep some fitness while taking a short break from work.’
The participating respondents were female college students with chronic sleep deprivation, getting less than six and a half hours sleep per night. On separate days, they either ingested capsules containing caffeine or a placebo, or spent ten minutes walking up and down stairs at a low-intensity pace. Then, the participants took some verbal and computer-based tests to measure how they felt and how well they performed cognitive or intellectual tasks.
According to the scientist drinking caffeine or the placebo had little influence, while exercise really made people feel more energetic and vigorous, although it was a temporary feeling, felt immediately after the exercise. Neither caffeine nor exercise caused large improvements in attention or memory.
Sources: the journal Physiology and Behavior, eurekalert.org, news.uga.edu