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My legs feel like jiggly jello. I’m panting like a desperate hyena. Sweat is seeping into my beige blazer. I grip onto the railing for extra support and manage to pull myself up the last step.

I open the door to exit the stairwell and I turn to look at my co-workers. Stephanie is fanning herself furiously. 

“Whose smart idea was to climb sixteen flights of stairs?” I ask.  

“Yours,” they say in unison, all giving me that squinted eyed dirty look.

Right, but that’s only partially true.

The full reason was that Walter, head of Creative Services and lover of team-building events, decided to invite each division to an “office fitness stair challenge”.

However, as soon as I heard about this “work event”, my head perked up from my cubby like a ground squirrel and I immediately thought about the FREE SNACKS that may come with participating.

I also had some ulterior motives for putting my co-workers through this trauma though.

Trying to find a way to change up our usual “let’s go for a walk and grab a tea” routine, I thought we could “practice” our stair climbing abilities before the big day. Perhaps we could even make a habit of it and do daily stair climbs as part of our office fitness routine (and if all failed, we could just write it down in the “Hot Damn!” book).

Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod would be so proud.

There are numerous benefits to stair climbing (improves cardiovascular health, helps build muscle etc.) but the main reason is that it would give us a break from our stoic desk positions. 

Sometimes you just have to detach your numbing butt from your swivel chair, you know? 

The Stair Battle Begins

Through the power of peer pressure, I convinced all my co-workers to join me and suddenly I became Lieutenant Colonel of the 22nd Battalion. It was my duty to lead and motivate everyone to the summit of our expedition.

Four minutes later, after all the heavy breathing, wheezing and hunching over, we return back down and I sit at my desk.

How many calories did I burn from the “Battle of the 16 Floors”? I wondered.

For my weight and height, the grand total was 37.

The equivalent to 5 almonds.

Alright, so no McFlurry tonight.

Did Stair Climbing Make It As Our Office Fitness Habit?

Unfortunately no. 

The main reasons were:

1. You produce way too much sweat climbing sixteen flights in four minutes.
2. You will stink up the office.
3. Stairs suck.

*Intel gathered from five coworkers 

Walking up and down the dingy stairwell just wasn’t all that motivating as a break.

In the end, Walter won this event in two ways. 

First, because he did succeed in “building our team bond” (mostly through complaining about the pain afterward).  

And second, because he left us all in the dust and got to the top first in his red power jumpsuit and matching headband.

Comment if your office has been part of any office fitness challenges! Were they successes or flops?

I motivated my office to do the "Office Fitness Stair Challenge" to stay fit & healthy. Read all about it (and how people got grumpy)!


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