Repurpose Your Walker into a Stair Stepper Exerciser

By Darrell Griffin, President of - "Life begins at 50, gets great at 60 and primo at 70."
A year ago, when I was 70,  I needed a walker to get from the bedroom to the bathroom. I had just had a quadruple heart bypass after a couple of strokes. The walker, if not my friend it was at least my constant companion. I was not the same man I was before the strokes and the by pass surgery.  Before the strokes I lived an normal life style of no exercise, lots of pasta, and extreme stress. Things changed with the strokes. Now I have a great team of healthcare professionals that have me exercising more than I did at 40, within 6 months of my surgery.  Repurposing a hospital support walker to a support frame for a portable stair stepper exercise machine saved money, but is was also  a mental boost. That same aluminum tubing that supported me after surgery walking from my bedroom to the bathroom was now supporting me during daily my cardio stepper routine.
The portable stepper machine has two rubber footsteps. When a foot steps on one foot step the other is rising to be compressed with the other foot and now I am supported at all times.  It's difficult for me to stand on the stepper without this support hack. One residual effect of the strokes is my balance is off a little. I have a difficult time standing and using the stepper. But not now with the assistance of the walker.


Staying active and maintaining physical fitness is essential for a healthy lifestyle, and one way to achieve this is by incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Portable stair stepper exercise machines have gained popularity for their effectiveness in providing a low-impact cardiovascular workout. However, these machines can be challenging to use without proper support, especially for individuals with balance or mobility issues. In this article, we will explore a creative and cost-effective solution for repurposing a hospital support walker into a support frame for a portable stair stepper exercise machine.


The Need for Support

Portable stair stepper exercise machines, like the one available on Amazon , offer a convenient way to engage in cardiovascular exercise from the comfort of your home. These machines simulate the action of climbing stairs, providing a full-body workout and helping you burn calories and strengthen your lower body muscles.

Despite their benefits, using a stepper can be challenging for some individuals, particularly those who may struggle with balance or need extra support. This is where a repurposed hospital support walker can make a significant difference.

Repurposing the Hospital Support Walker

A hospital support walker is designed to assist individuals with mobility challenges, providing them with stability and support while walking. These walkers typically feature a sturdy frame with four legs, hand grips, and rubberized feet to prevent slipping.

To repurpose a hospital support walker into a support frame for a portable stair stepper exercise machine, follow these steps:

  1. Gather the Necessary Materials:

    • A hospital support walker with adjustable height settings.
    • A portable stair stepper exercise machine with rubber footplates.
  2. Adjust the Walker's Height: Set the walker to a height that matches the height of the portable stair stepper machine. This will ensure that the support frame is at the correct level for safe and comfortable use.

  3. Attach the Stepper Machine: Position the portable stair stepper exercise machine in the middle of the walker's frame. No tools necessary.

  4. Test the Support Frame: Before using the repurposed support frame, make sure it is stable and secure. Test it without putting your full weight on it to ensure that it can provide the necessary support.

Benefits of Repurposing

Repurposing a hospital support walker into a support frame for a portable stair stepper exercise machine offers several advantages:

  1. Enhanced Stability: The support frame provides additional stability, making it easier and safer to use the stepper machine, especially for those with balance issues.

  2. Cost-Effective Solution: This DIY project eliminates the need to purchase an expensive specialized support frame, saving you money.

  3. Versatility: You can easily detach the portable stair stepper machine from the support frame if you wish to use it independently or in different locations.

Most of their portable stair steppers come with cords for exercising your upper body.


Repurposing a hospital support walker into a support frame for a portable stair stepper exercise machine is a practical and cost-effective solution for individuals seeking to improve their cardiovascular fitness while addressing balance and mobility concerns. By following these steps, you can create a stable and reliable support system that allows you to enjoy the benefits of a stair stepper machine with added safety and comfort.

Be sure to look for Darrell's  book "Exercising Outside the Box for Seniors. Hacks for Converting mobility Equipment to Exercise Equipment " It is full of ideas for converting a number of pieces of support equipment such as walkers and crutches into aerobics and cardio equipment .  

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