When my dad used to work in an actual building instead of telecommuting from home, he used to always talk about how he would walk up and down the stairs for the four floors to his office. Though it probably didn't do too much for him in the way of exercise, it probably at least kept him on his toes a bit.
Yesterday, I watched an episode of The Office where the whole office is in a competition with the other Dunder Mifflin branches to lose the most weight, the prize being five days paid vacation (I have been working my way through all the seasons of The Office; and I've already seen 1, 2 and 3 so I'm currently in the 4th).
One funny part was when Stanley pretended he forgot something in his car, but as it turned out he actually just taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
I've always been a stairs person. I hate waiting around for the elevator. However when I started working my current job four years ago, I started waiting for the elevator. This year, I decided to make a change. Every once in awhile, my legs are just too gassed to bother with the stairs, but for the most part, I'm up and down multiple flights easily a good twenty times a day (sometimes more).
Elevators can definitely help. I mean, how else would you get to the top of the Empire State Building, or Willis Tower in Chicago, or the Eiffel Tower?! But some of those sweet monuments still make you work for the view. I'm pretty sure you can't climb on the Great Pyramids of Giza, but if you could, I doubt there's an elevator to the top (someone correct me if I'm wrong). One of my most vivid childhood memories includes going to the Statue of Liberty, and walking up the narrow, steep stairs to get to the top, looking out the windows in the crown. By that point the torch was closed off to the public, but you get the idea.
In the sport of rock climbing, or climbing in general, whether it's walking up a dirt path or up the ice wall of a glacier, there is always that huge sense of achievement, success at the top. It can even be something as simple as climbing a tree and planting your mark at the top, whether that be in the form of a carving or flag or some other doodad. There is nothing sweeter than hiking up a mountain, getting a wonderful view, and seeing a big sign that says, "Summit: XXXX Meters". I wish I had the picture of my siblings and I are climbing a 6000 foot mountain in the Canadian Rockies. We were exhausted but thrilled, and rewarded with a beautiful view of Angel Glacier.
Stairs are the world's man-made mountains. There is a sense of achievement at the top, especially if there's a lot of flights. The "stair high" exists so much so that they even created that gym machine where you can just climb flights of stairs forever. Sure, it sucks doing it, but your legs get the best burn. Athletes often do bleacher stairs in their stadiums (I know my high school football and lacrosse team did them all the time).
Are you a stair person or an elevator person? Too torn between the two? Can't decide? Okay then, screw stairs and elevators. That's why there's escalators, you middle-of-the-road person, you!