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Using the stairs is generally considered better exercise
than using the lift because the latter are powered and the
former not (unless they're moving stairs). This could be
remedied by making the lift pedal powered.
The lift is small and light, just big enough to hold one adult
in a seated
position. It contains a bike saddle and pedals,
and a button on the wall. On entry, the passenger has to
opt to switch it to powered. The default operating mode
of the lift is for it to be powered by a ratcheted and
therefore safe pair of wheels. There are two gears,
upwards and downwards. To operate the lift, the
passenger pedals until they have reached the floor desired.
On the way up, they are lift their own weight using their
legs on the pedals, which would probably be more
strenuous than using the stairs (don't know why i think this
but i do). On the way down, they are acting against the
counterweight on the other end of the winch.
Because the lift is small, other potential passengers are
encouraged to use the stairs anyway because otherwise
they must queue.
Also saves electricity.
[Klaatu, Jul 28 2011]
||I like the 3rd image in your link, [Klaatu]. Two women, standing in curvy poses, passively ride, while a man, striding actively forward, does the work required to power the machinery.
||On the strenuosity, it depends on the system frictions and the balancing mechanism. If the travelling compartment is perfectly balanced, then you need to do the same amount of work to raise yourself as if you walked - plus friction, but more efficiently (pedalling). On the other hand the counterweight could be heavier, so that you have to work to descend, which makes your effort to ascend considerably less.