Using the stairs is also perfect for toning flabby legs, boosting cardiovascular fitness and losing a bit of weight, says Dr Cedric Bryant, chief science officer at the ACE. [pullquote]The idea was to give people who don’t like exercise or couldn’t see how to incorporate it into their day an easy way to do so. But it was the competitive element that really made the difference.” - Alyson Bowcott, Legal & General[/pullquote] But could it have a broader impact on employee wellbeing? Financial services company L&G believes so, having adopted a new "gamified" approach in its four biggest offices that encourages employees to compete with each other to climb the most stairs. The idea for stair-running came from StepJockey, a UK-based start-up that was initially seed-funded by the Department of Health, which launched its gamification system at the end of last year. The move is part of a broader health and wellbeing programme at L&G that was initiated in 2012, called "My money, My life, My health". StepJockey comes in to employers’ offices and measures stairs to calculate how many calories can be burned off per stair. Employees download an app to their mobile phone, and can then "swipe" signs at the top and bottom of each staircase to record their journey. There are various different challenges on offer – employees can "climb Everest" (as L&G has suggested) or conquer the Great Wall of China or the Empire State Building, among others. They can also organise themselves into teams and compete.Encouraging staff to take the stairs rather than the lift can feel like a fruitless exercise. But a new competition-based approach could get employees moving, as Legal & General (L&G) has found. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), you can burn more calories running up and down the stairs than by jogging or cycling on the flat.