Walking vs steps

Good morning. I can walk a quarter mile with not breathing problem (my legs get tired), but when going up a flight of stairs, I get winded.

Is there that much difference in how much energy used, or is something else going on? - Mike


5 Comments

stairs

by Tracey_E - 2020-07-08 09:58:28

Yes it's more energy because we are moving our bodyweight up. I never quite understood the explanation of why, but many of  us regardless of fitness level are huffing and puffing after going up the stairs. 

Stairs

by AgentX86 - 2020-07-08 11:04:47

A lot more energy is required climbing stairs than walking on the flats. Think about the difference between walking on level ground and up hill. Stairs are just really steep hills, sorta. Walking on level ground is also easier because we store energy in tendons from stride to stride (running even more so) making it more efficient. This makes it really difficult to set up an accelerometer based rate response system for all needs.

Stairs

by Selwyn - 2020-07-08 12:50:17

Stairs are a problem!  I think a lot of people huff and puff with stairs. Personally, I put this down to the pacemaker inactivity. Using your legs just does not activate the rate response facility for increasing the heart rate of your PM.  [Agent X86 alludes to this]

I can cycle miles at speed and still  get short of breath with stairs.  When I have had to walk up many stairs, I have learnt to start off very slowly to avoid  getting short of breath.  Nothing like going up castle towers (we have plenty of those in North Wales)  or church towers ( We have a lovely high cathedral tower in LIverpool!  In fact, we have two cathedrals!!). I certainly remember having to lie down on climbing to the  5th floor of a Chinese pagoda! 

So, yes walking up hill/stairs uses energy, and develops an oxygen debt. This debt cannot be paid as the oxygen carrying capacity is static from the point of view of blood pumping. ( cardiac output = heart rate x stroke volume ). The way the body compensates is by increasing the breathing rate - huffing and puffing.

 If you have a condition like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, where the  heart muscle is thickened, and therefore not so elastic, the stroke volume is also limited, and this makes for double jepody, where the heart rate cannot increase because of the pacemaker and the heart cannot stretch because of the thickening. Sometimes I could do with a cylinder of oxygen at the top of the stairs!

The secret  for stairs - take your time 

Stair way to heaven...

by Mike417 - 2020-07-10 15:29:11

The definition of work in physics is moving weight vertically.

The accelerometer in most PM will not detect climbing stairs unless you are swinging your arms.  Furthermore, only the Boston Scientific Accolade PM can detect increased respiration and invrease HR.

So, having to huff and pant is normal.

Mike

Stairway

by AgentX86 - 2020-07-10 19:08:10

It's amazing that a $100 FitBit can detect vertical motion but a $10,000 PM can't. Perhaps the issue is that the PM doesn't recognize the vertical motion and correct fast enough (just a guess). There is a (programmed) dwell time for any motion. Perhaps we'd be done with the climb (circular reasoning alert) before the dwell timer expires. Perhaps this is known by the designers so they don't add it as a feature.??

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