Of lapbands and lifts

My blogging mate Dan over at Cafe Leone wrote a very funny post entitled “How not to motivate someone” a couple of days ago and I would urge you to read it. Without giving too much away he came across a comment that said that “Walking upstairs burns three times as many calories as taking an elevator” and concluded that rather than continue walking up 10 floors to his office he would be better off riding up and down in the lift a few times.

I wondered about the source of the comment and so thanks to the wonder of Google found that there is a pamphlet on healthy living published by our very own Department of Consumer Affairs here in Victoria that confirms everything that Dan said. If you care to open up that document you will find the last sentence of paragraph three on page three stating –
“And walking up stairs burns almost five times more calories than taking an elevator”

Now that’s from the government so it must be correct and the conclusion therefore is that if you ride up an elevator five times, you have burnt the same amount of energy you would have if you’d walked the same distance once. It doesn’t say what going down in an elevator does, but it would be reasonable to assume that you would expend the same number of calories going down as you would going up.

The Australian Medical Association in the past week has come out and said that there should be taxpayer funded weight loss surgery. The Victorian Branch went further and said that the government should fund lapband surgery on obese kids as young as 14. Now I won’t get into what’s wrong with just withholding money from kids so they can’t buy junk food, or being careful about what you stock your pantry with, because taking responsibility for yourself these days seems to be a very old-fashioned idea. Much easier to tell other people they should be responsible for things or look to government to fund solutions. But it got me thinking.

When I was a young lad many of the elevators I got into in buildings were actually manned by real people. So instead of dangerous lapband surgery why don’t we give all the obese people jobs as elevator attendants and pay them to do it – that way we not only improve the service to the public in all high rise buildings, but we save an absolute fortune on medical bills and these people can burn thousands of calories each day just riding up and down in lifts. The only problem I can see with it is that the people using the lifts might actually burn less calories because they won’t have to push buttons anymore.

And thanks to Dan – there’s another problem solved!

Image from Cartoonstock.com



  1. paisley said,

    January 11, 2008 at 6:40 am

    oh loz this is brilliant!!!! you really need to try and publish this it is all around perfection!!!!!

  2. January 11, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    LOL. Great piece. The only problem I see is if you get a morbidly obese elevator operator and too many morbidly obese riders on together the elevator might break down. And try getting them out the trap door! 😉

  3. Vanessa said,

    January 12, 2008 at 3:40 am

    Tax payer funded weight loss surgery? How about being responsible for yourself and suffering the consequences if you can’t? IE; you either loose the weight and exercise or buy larger clothes. And continue to be a drain on the system.

  4. terri said,

    January 12, 2008 at 5:09 am

    You and Dan together could be a dangerous and hilarious combination!

  5. Linda and her Surroundings said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Sigh…what ever happened to eat less and exercise more?

  6. Blur Ting said,

    January 12, 2008 at 9:10 am

    I timed myself once. It takes me about 6 minutes to walk to/from our toilet at our office building. Why do I spend 30 minutes running at the gym everyday when all I need to do is to run to the toilet afew more times a day. I burn the same amount of calories!

  7. HollyGL said,

    January 12, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Loz, You are too funny! …I wonder if I’d be a candidate for that surgery…

  8. Dan Leone said,

    January 13, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Thanks Loz! I was trying to extend the walking v elevator argument to its illogical conclusion. Clearly, you have done a better job with that. I am still laughing! Whatever happened to those elevator operators anyways? What was their function? Weird.

  9. Nick Phillips said,

    January 22, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Damn Loz, I’ve got to get me one of those elevators right this very minute! It sure is way easier than running … LOL!

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