Chicago - Governor Quinn announced Stair Week at the kick-off of the 2nd Annual BUILDINGChicago/Greening the Heartland Conference on Monday, September 29th. The Governor encouraged the use of stairs instead of elevators, keeping with Illinois’ commitment to citizens’ health and well-being and a more sustainable, energy-efficient environment.
Schools, county health departments, businesses, and community organizations, such as the YMCA and United Way, strongly support Stair Week, recognizing its health benefits. Taking the stairs is safe and accessible exercise that helps individuals attain overall fitness which, in turn, reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and other diseases.
Taking the stairs also improves energy-efficiency, in which Illinois is already a leader. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, Illinois is number one in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), with 2.29 square feet of LEED space per resident. Cultivating a habit of taking the stairs builds upon this existing energy-saving infrastructure. It is an action that saves energy.
The Illinois American Institute of Architects and International Interior Design Association’s added focus on stair design ensures more buildings will have safe, walkable stairs. This will enable even more individuals to dismiss the elevator, and take the stairs.