GRE Argument Essay 195
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 arguer proposes that new apartment buildings should be constructed with as few elevators as possible. The reason cited by the arguer for this proposal is that people’s health and longevity can be increased by carrying out a reasonable amount of daily exercise like utilizing stairs for coming and going from one’s apartment. The arguer further cites the findings of two recent studies to bolster the recommendation made. The first study has concluded that people who live in buildings that do not have elevators outlive those who live in buildings that have elevators and stairs. The second study has concluded that elderly people residing in buildings with elevators make twice as many visits to the doctor as those made by the people who stay in buildings that do not have elevators. However, a close investigation reveals that these two studies accomplish little towards supporting the recommendation made by the arguer.
Firstly, both the studies make no mention of the number of floors in the buildings that were a part of the studies. It is likely that the number of floors in the buildings where there were no elevators were very less as compared to the buildings with elevators. Hence, the less number of stairs would probably make no contribution to the recommended daily exercise routine. Therefore, the health of the people residing in the buildings without elevators probably was not affected in any way by the usage of stairs. On the other hand, it is likely that the number of floors in the buildings with elevators is so high that it is not possible to use the stairs at all, especially for the people residing in the upper floors. Using the stairs may actually lead to fatigue and breathlessness, especially for the elderly people. Therefore, without information about the number of floors in the buildings that are being compared, it would be highly unjustified to conclude that utilizing the stairs is providing health benefits and longevity.
Secondly, by making the sweeping statement that new apartments should not have elevators, the arguer completely ignores the problems that will be encountered in transporting commodities and luggage from the ground floor to the upper floors. Baby prams, people in wheelchairs, bulky luggage, small children etc. will all require elevators to reach their destinations. Utilizing the stairs would be very tiring for the people who need to come and go to their apartments frequently during the day. Therefore, the recommendation to avoid constructing buildings with elevators is largely unwarranted.
Thirdly, linking the health related problems of people residing in two different buildings with no information about their financial status, living conditions, age etc. is unjustified. The people who are living longer or are making lesser trips to the doctor may be because of their living conditions and financial status that allow them to have a nutritious diet and take good care of their health. Also, it is likely that the healthier set of people is younger than the people who have poor health. Moreover, a trip to the doctor cannot be termed as a measure of one’s health. Probably, the elderly people go to the doctor to get a regular check up as they are more health conscious than their counterparts who reside in buildings without elevators.
Lastly, the arguer has not addressed any other forms of exercise that can be effectively used without creating inconvenience by not constructing elevators. Walking, jogging, playing, going to the gym etc. are all convenient forms of exercise that can be easily adopted by people for maintaining a regular exercising regime. Unless, the arguer rules out the possibility of using any of these forms of moderate exercises, it is difficult to be convinced that not constructing elevators is the only way to ensure that you get your daily quota of exercise. In conclusion, it can be seen that both the studies do little to substantiate the recommendation made by the arguer as there is no concrete evidence that links these two studies to the conclusion arrived at by the arguer.