Forget your morning coffee - spend 10 minutes walking up and down some stairs instead.
It sounds like a nightmare. But according to new research, that little bout of exercise will do far more for your energy levels than if you were to take the elevator while slurping on a soda or a cappuccino - and saves you some money.
The study aimed to simulate the hurdles faced in a typical office setting, where workers spend hours sitting and staring at computer screens and don’t have time for a longer bout of exercise during the day.
For the study, participants on separate days either ingested capsules containing caffeine or a placebo, or spent 10 minutes walking up and down stairs - about 30 floors total - at a low-intensity pace.
To test the effects of caffeine versus the exercise, each group took some verbal and computer-based tests to gauge how well they performed certain cognitive tasks.
Neither caffeine nor exercise caused large improvements in attention or memory, but stair walking was associated with a small increase in motivation for work.
There is still much research to be done on the specific benefits of exercising on the stairs, especially for just 10 minutes. But even a brief bout of stair walking can enhance feelings of energy without reducing cognitive function.
You may not have time to go for a swim, but you might have 10 minutes to walk up and down the stairs.