The Calories Burned Climbing Nine Floors of Stairs

Female runner moving up on stone stairs-side view

You might not realize it, but [opting for the stairs rather than the elevator can help you reach your weight loss goals. In fact, the calories burnt in climbing nine floors are equivalent to eating approximately two plain M&M’s. Even more, the calories burned climbing 150 stairs equals five M&M’s.

Stair Climbing Facts

Determining the number of calories you burn climbing stairs is not an exact science. With so many variables involved such as your pace, the number of steps in a flight of stairs, your body weight and the weight of any items you’re carrying, it can be difficult to come up with a precise number of calories burnt climbing nine floors. That said, you can use some general data to estimate the number of calories you can burn climbing stairs.

  • The average flight of stairs has about 12 to 16 steps.
  • The National Multiple Sclerosis Society says the average participant for their Climb MS events may take from 15 to 25 minutes to climb 36 flights of stairs. 
  • A 150-pound person can burn about 223 calories in 30-minutes using a stair stepping machine. 
  • In a small December 2012 study published in PLOS, participants burned 8.5 calories per minute of stair climbing. The same study reports that the average rate of energy expenditure of climbing one step is 0.09 calories. Previous studies found similar results, ranging from 0.09 to 0.11 calories per step. 

Using the data from the 2012 study, a reasonable estimate for calories burnt climbing nine floors, assuming 12 steps per flight of stairs, is 5.4 calories. Along those same lines, the calories burned climbing 150 stairs is equivalent to 13.5 calories.

Exercise Guidelines for Weight Loss

When it comes to losing weight, every minute of exercise counts. That’s why taking the stairs every chance you get helps you come out ahead at the end of the day. Besides, it’s not just the calories you burn that matters. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the health benefits of participating in regular cardiovascular exercise such as stair climbing also contributes to a reduction in heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

The minimum guidelines for general health set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services say that adults should get 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, plus two or more days of muscle-strengthening exercises that involve all major muscle groups. However, if you’re trying to lose weight, the Mayo Clinic suggests increasing your aerobic exercise to the maximum of 300 minutes each week.

But just how much weight is safe to lose each week? Well, the CDC suggests one to two pounds per week as the maximum you should lose. To help you reach that goal, make it a point to climb a certain amount of stairs each day.

For example, if you take the average of 8.5 calories burned per one minute of stair climbing, and multiply that by 15 minutes, you can burn 127 calories. This simple strategy can make fitting exercise into a busy schedule a whole lot easier.