Please, commment on my essay.
"A recently completed study shows that people dwelling in stairs-only apartment buildings (that is, buildings without elevators) live an average of three years longer than do people who live in buildings with both elevators and stairs. A second study shows that elderly residents of buildings with elevators make, on average, twice as many visits to doctors each year as do elderly residents of buildings without elevators. These findings suggest that even a very moderate amount of daily exercise, such as that required to use the stairs leading to and from one's apartment, can increase people's health and longevity. The findings also suggest that new apartment buildings should be constructed with as few elevators as possible."
The author speaks of a recent study which has shown that people residing in apartment buildings without elevators live on average three years longer than people where these facilities are available. He or she also brings about another study that has concluded that elderly residing in such stairs-only buildings live visit the doctor half as much as those who have access to elevators in their places of living. He or she then makes an inference based on these studies, and then moves on to suggesting that building be constructed with as few elevators as possible.
Initially, the inference that "even a very moderate amount of daily exercise, such as that required to use the stairs leading to and from one's apartment, can increase people's health and longevity" is a very sound one. It is something that most people would normally conclude when analyzing these studies, and also something that would be strongly supported by "common sense." Yet, caution should be taken before promptly accepting what the author suggests, mainly for two reasons.
First, he or she does not provide any information as of who conducted these studies. The author simply speaks of a recent study, without providing any information about who conducted the studies. The conclusions the author arrives at can only be made if the studies are valid, and the reader is incapable of assessing that without knowing if the studies were conducted by a respected and well-known research group. After all, even if the author's conclusions seem very logical, their basis would be jeopardized had the study come from questionable source.
Second, the author does not say anything about how was the study performed (how many people were surveyed, what was the profile of the subjects and what was taken into account when the surveys were done). This leaves room for many indagations. For example, how tall were the buildings in the survey? It could be that the subjects of the survey all lived in small buildings where walking up the stairs was still good exercise, as opposed to tall buildings where the stairs would be so long that they would become hazardous exercise to those not physically fit. Or maybe the elders surveyed were all in good health, and so the exercise of walking up the stairs would be benefitial to them, whereas to elders who are ill this activity could become somewhat strenuous.
As to whether should buildings be constructed with as few elevators as possible is a controversial matter. Healthy-living is a behavior that should arise in people through self-consciousness, rather than being imposed on them. Cutting down elevators on elevators will only make things more troublesome for those who really need to use them.
Seemingly, using the stairs more often would make living more healthy for those living in apartment buildings without elevators, as the author says. However, in order to confirm the assumptions the author makes, more information is needed about the studies mentioned, thus making the argument not so solid as it may appear.
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