Stairs are great for your health. Scientific studies show that going up eight flights of stairs a day can hugely improve your fitness and reduce your risk of early death by as much as a third. So popular has this type of exercise become that charity stair-climbing races have become a regular feature in many UK cities including London, Manchester, Liverpool, Leicester, Bristol and Portsmouth. 

Because climbing stairs uses up more energy than jogging, it’s a brilliant way of losing weight – and of course the heavier you are to start with, the more calories you will be able to burn off. It’ll also do wonders for your blood pressure. Your heart rate, muscle tone, bone density and general strength will all improve – along with your general mood, thanks to stress-relieving endorphins released by all the activity.

Our offices here are up a winding flight of stairs, so one of our staff members is taking the opportunity to get in some extra training to prepare for this year’s London Marathon. Purchasing manager Andy Griffiths will be running to raise funds for the renowned Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. Based near the Welsh border, the hospital is a leading centre for knee and hip replacements, and enjoys a global reputation for the quality of its research.

As a marathon newbie, Andy has thrown himself into training with the zeal of the newly converted. Manfully resisting the lure of the pub and local takeaway, in January alone he notched up 101 miles pounding the streets, and swam more than five miles. His proudest achievement so far is an epic 72-mile cycle ride - almost, he admitted afterwards, the straw that broke the camel's back!

Pear Stairs purchasing manager Andy Griffiths tries out one of our curved oak staircases as he prepares for the London Marathon

Andy said: “I've never run a marathon before so to add to this challenge, I'm aiming to run it in under four hours. This is going to be a huge effort from me, not only on race day but from now and the months leading up to the big day! Early morning runs in the rain and cold throughout the winter will be the hardest part. All donations will go towards the hospital and to help fund research and new treatments, providing state of the art facilities as well as extra comfort for all patients.”

Visit Andy’s JustGiving page to find out more. 

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