Have you ever thought that taking a quick up and down a flight of stairs packs you with a more powerful and restorative buzz than intake of caffeine.
Well, researchers from the University of Georgia (UGA) in the US have found that 10 minutes of walking up and down the stairs at a constant speed made participants fell more energetic than taking 50 milligrams of caffeine.
"We found, in both the caffeine and the placebo conditions, that there was not much change in how they felt," said Patrick J OConnor, professor at UGAs department of kinesiology.
"But with exercise they did feel more energetic and vigorous. It was a temporary feeling, felt immediately after the exercise, but with the 50 milligrammes of caffeine, we did not get as big an effect," said J OConnor.
The study focused at imitating the hurdlesthat are faced in a typical office setting, where workers have to spend hours sitting and staring at computer and cannot make time for exercise in their daily schedule.
For the study, participants on separate days either took capsules of caffeine or placebo, or walked up and down stairs for 10 minutes- about 30 floors in total- at a low-intensity pace.
"Office workers can go outside and walk, but weather can be less than ideal. It has never rained on me while walking the stairs," said OConnor.
"And a lot of people working in office buildings have access to stairs, so it is an option to keep some fitness while taking a short break from work," he said.
Female college students were preffered for the study and they declared themselves as chronically sleep deprived. They got less than six and a half hours of sleep per night.
In order to study the results, each group took some verbal and computer-based tests to find out how they felt and how well they performed certain cognitive tasks.
Neither caffeine nor exercise caused large improvements in attention or memory, but stair walking was associated with a small increase in motivation for work.
The study was published in the journal Physiology and Behaviour.