Regularly walking from floor to floor in an office building decreased mortality risk by 15 percent, said Philippe Meyer, the main author of the study, which was done at the University Hospital of Geneva.
Using the stairs improves fitness, body composition, blood pressure and lipid profiles, Meyer was quoted as saying by the Swissinfo news website.
"The challenge remains to develop successful population-based interventions, which promote physical activities that can be easily integrated into everyday life," he said.
For the study, 77 employees from Geneva University with a sedentary lifestyle were recruited to take only the stairs over a three-month period, Swissinfo reported.
Results showed an increase in aerobic capacity, a decline in waist circumference, weight, fat mass, blood pressure and cholesterol.
"However, the results of this pilot study need to be confirmed in a larger randomized controlled trial," Meyer said.