Medical students on the Upstate campus are leading by example. They are tracking the number of flights of stairs they walk up each day — going down doesn’t count — with the goal of walking 5,334 feet by March 2. That’s the height of Mount Marcy, New York’s tallest mountain.
“Health starts with the individual and what choices he or she makes regarding food, exercise and environment,” says Dawn Lammert, a second year medical student in Upstate’s MD/PhD Program. “Taking the stairs is a great way to burn some extra calories.”
Lammert is part of Anastomosis, a group of medical students whose main purpose is to make connections between the way people live and their health. (Anastomosis is a medical term meaning collateral connections between blood vessels.) “We feel that as medical students and budding physicians, we should lead by example. Our advice and treatments will carry so much more value this way.”
The six-week stairs challenge encourages Upstate employees to incorporate exercise into their day. One flight of stairs equals 10 feet, so participants need to climb 534 flights — or 12 flights per day — in order to be eligible for prize drawings at the end of the challenge. Prizes include gift certificates to New York State Parks, Eastern Mountain Sports, Sports Authority, Fleet Feet and Strong Hearts Cafe.
The challenge is modeled after a similar challenge at the Harvard School of Public Health, in which teams of people climb the equivalent of the world’s tallest summits. Anastomosis chose a goal tied to New York State, which individuals could attain on their own. Lammert says she will not know how many people are participating until logs are turned in on March 2. Winners will be announced March 5.