School Lifts: The Ups and Downs



In most schools, lifts have become an integral part of a modern and effective school ecosystem.

However, detractors critique lifts as a contributing factor in child obesity and encourage less exercise. This article considers the pros and cons.

Hitting the right buttons

Lifts do not lead to obesity nor discourage exercise. It is good for young students to take the stairs more often. However, exercise does not simply come from walking up and down the stairs. It is more beneficial to have physical education (PE) programmes than not having lifts. PE is where the real exercise should take place. Schools should make students look forward to PE lessons; if students embrace and look forward to a fun filled PE lesson they will have sufficient exercise and even if they take the lift often it does not really diminish the rigorous exercise they received from the PE lessons. Perhaps if lifts are allowed for all students anytime, PE can be conducted more often.

Wheelchair friendly

Lifts are needed for physically handicapped or injured students. If a student suddenly came to school wheelchair-bound, a school with no lift would render him impossible to go up the stairs. Usually then the classroom would have to be fully relocated to the ground floor. Let us not forget the teacher or the elderly non-teaching staff who may need the lift due to their age or physical condition.

In a nutshell, instead of banning lifts in school, schools should make their PE programmes something students look forward to. An active lifestyle revolves around a holistic lifestyle approach.