10 Disadvantages Of Climbing Stairs (& Benefits)– With FAQs!

Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Emma W. Thomas

Climbing stairs is an excellent cardio exercise for anyone looking forward to keeping fit. However, the activity has a few disadvantages that are worth noting. While climbing stairs helps to work out your leg muscles, it does not work on other body muscles. Stair climbing might injure your soft tissues and bones in the knees. It may also not be an ideal exercise for those who have knee problems or are overweight.

Climbing stairs is an excellent way to incorporate cardio and lower-body strength training into your fitness routine. However, as with any exercise, there are potential downsides to consider.

Here are 10 disadvantages of climbing stairs to keep in mind:

1. Limited muscle targeting:

Climbing stairs is a great way to work your leg muscles, but it doesn’t address other muscle groups in your body unless you add in variations involving upper body workouts. This makes it less versatile than other exercises.

2. Knee injury risk:

Stair climbing puts additional stress on the knees, which can lead to injuries. Those with existing joint problems or knee pain should use caution when implementing stair climbing into their workout routine.

3. Shortened stride:

Climbing stairs can shorten your stride, which can be problematic for runners who rely on longer strides to get faster. Additionally, trying to adjust to shorter step distances can further exacerbate this issue.

4. Restricted frequency and duration:

While stair climbing can provide great benefits, it is not an exercise that can be done too frequently or for too long. Incorporating 10-15 minute sessions 2-3 times a week is ideal to avoid overuse injuries.

5. Potential muscle strain:

Climbing stairs requires engaging muscle stabilizers like the glutes that may get neglected during regular runs. Overuse of these muscles, along with repetitive motion, can lead to muscle strains.

6. Risk of Injury:

There is a risk of injury while climbing stairs, which is higher for those who are not careful. Falls, strains, and sprains are common injuries that can occur due to overuse or incorrect technique.

7. Time-Consuming:

Climbing stairs can be time-consuming, especially if one is climbing a lot of stairs or has to climb them frequently throughout the day.

8. Difficulty for Some:

Climbing stairs can be difficult or even impossible for some people, including those with mobility issues or injuries, as well as those with certain medical conditions.

9. Not a Full-Body Workout:

While climbing stairs is great for leg muscles and cardiovascular health, it doesn’t provide a full-body workout like some other exercises do.

10. Monotonous:

Climbing stairs can become monotonous and boring over time, which may discourage some people from continuing the activity.

It is important to keep these potential risks in mind when considering incorporating stair climbing into your fitness routine. Speak with a doctor or fitness professional before starting any new exercise program

While there are a few disadvantages of stair climbing, there are also several benefits of undertaking the exercise as highlighted below; 

Health Benefits Of Climbing Stairs

The health benefits of climbing stairs outnumber its disadvantages making the exercise worthwhile. Here are some of these advantages:

Helps In Losing Weight

Are you struggling with weight and are looking for a simple way to reduce it? Stair climbing is one such exercise that will help solve your problem. Take five minutes every day and walk up and down your stairs. This simple workout allows your body to shed excess weight and also energize you. 

Regulates Your Blood Pressure

Climbing stairs helps to unclog your arteries leading to better blood pressure and heart health. Regular exercise will improve the circulation of blood, and heart rate, and eventually boost your overall health.

Reduces Mental Health Problems

The simple act of climbing stairs refreshes your mind as your body pumps blood and gives you an adrenaline rush. This working out helps to minimize mental health issues and also reduces stress and anxiety. Your body will remain in better shape as well. 

Tones The Body

As you climb stairs every day, your stamina and body will improve over time. Your body will become more firm as the muscles get toned. Try to engage in the exercise for at least twenty minutes each day to give your body a perfect shape. 

Lowers Mortality Risk

Climbing the stairs improves the overall health that your body needs. You can start slowly and increase the length of time you engage in the workout. Doing this every day helps to lower the risk of mortality. 

Minimizes Headaches

The exercise of climbing stairs is believed to have a significant impact on fighting headaches. Headaches occur as a result of knots forming in the tender nerves. Stair climbing helps to improve the overall blood flow and thus prevents the knots from forming. 

Reduces Diabetes 

Climbing stairs helps to improve blood sugar and blood pressure. Regulated blood sugar and pressure help to keep diabetes at bay. The complications associated with diabetes will also be canceled out when you work out regularly on your stairs.

Suitable For All

Climbing stairs is a perfect exercise for everyone looking forward to remain healthy as it does not require any skills. As long as you don’t have any existing problems with your knees or legs, you can engage in the exercise and benefit from it.

Builds Stamina

While climbing stairs may cause some pain and cramps in your legs, sticking to the exercise will help you build stamina in the long run. This activity will help you become stronger and fit for more physical exercises. 

It Is Free Of Charge.

When you climb the stairs, you get the health benefits that you can get from the gym. You will not incur any extra expenses making the exercise convenient for anybody, even those on a budget. You can also work out at the convenience of your home at any time.


How Many Stairs Should You Climb A Day To Lose Weight?

The number of calories that you will need to burn to lose weight will depend on several factors. They include the physical activities in your routine, how many calories you consume, and your lifestyle.

Climbing your stairs up and down each day is an effective way to lose weight. It is also an essential exercise for burning calories and keeping fit. If you climb up one stair, you will burn 0.75 calories, while climbing down a stair helps burn 0.35 calories. Check the data below:

Number Of StairsCalories To Burn
Climbing upClimbing down
One 0.750.25
Ten 7.5 2.5
Twenty 15 5

Although stair climbing is an easy way to help you burn calories, it is necessary to avoid climbing so many at once. Doing this is not healthy for your knees, and you need to combine different workouts. You may also need to jog, brisk walk, or run for you to burn the calories you don’t want, and even lose weight.

Is It Wrong To Climb Stairs Every Day?

No, it is not harmful to climb stairs every day. Doing this workout regularly helps to lower resting heart rates. It will also improve your balance since every trip up and down shapes and tones different leg muscles and the lower body. Stair climbing improves general well-being, and it is a marker of good health.

Is Stair Climbing Bad For Your Knees?

Climbing stairs is not bad for your knees unless there is damaged cartilage. The exercise will subject your knees to stress and pains, just like deep knee bends and running. These exercises subject your kneecap to sliding up and down, forcing it out of the groove due to pressure. 

Your knee links three significant bones, i.e., the Femur (thigh bone), patella (kneecap), and tibia (shin bone). Together with their connecting ligaments and muscles, the three bones work in unity to offer support to your weight and allow the movement of the leg fluid. Patella, which is a free-floating bone, slides above the femur in the trochlear groove. 

The kneecap is held in place by the articular cartilage while it cushions and lubricates the joint, and the bones will glide against each other. Damaged cartilage does not lead to pain when you are walking. However, when one runs, squats, bends the knee deeply or even climbs stairs, the knee is subjected to extra stress, and the pain increases.

These movements make the kneecap slide up and down, and the damaged cartilage will not keep the kneecap in the groove when your knee is subjected to pressure. The kneecap slides out of place and causes a lot of pain.

Does Climbing Stairs Reduce Thighs?

Yes. Climbing stairs is among the best workouts that help to burn fat. The exercise also helps to tone the butt, calves & thighs, strengthening the lower body, and losing belly fat. But it is advisable not to run down the stairs as this may cause you to fall. You also need to be confident when running up and rest or take a break when there is a need.  

Is Climbing Stairs Better Than Running?

Climbing stairs and running are both excellent workout routines. They both have aerobic advantages and also tone leg muscles and butts. But stair climbing may have more benefits than walking or running. 

If you climb stairs vigorously, the aerobic and calorie-burning benefits increase significantly. These benefits are more as compared to what you get while running or walking.

Running VS Stair Climbing – Which is Better for Leg Muscles?

RunningClimbing stairs
Your body moves in a horizontal pattern.Your body moves vertically – which helps strengthen the lower body.
You may have to travel a distance to get an ideal place for running.Stairs are readily available in office buildings, apartments, public areas, and streets. You only need an ordinary staircase.
It would help if you had a special outfit and shoes for running.No unique clothes or shoes are needed. You will still get fat-burning and aerobic benefits without workout pants.
More time is needed to burn fats.You burn a lot of fats in a short period (twice as much as with running)
You cannot run in rain or harsh weather.You can do it anytime indoors regardless of the weather.
Less muscle-building and aerobic benefitsMore muscle-building and aerobic benefits


While there are a few disadvantages of stair climbing, its benefits are many. You can undertake the workout routine without the need for any special equipment or clothing. The exercise helps to increase your heart rate, build & tone muscles, and burn fats & calories. It also helps to minimize cholesterol levels, increase energy, and stamina, all of which are necessary for a healthy life.

It is a worthwhile workout routine that is suitable for all people.

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