I am a people watcher. And as a personal trainer, this kicks in big time when I'm at the gym. I like to see what people are doing in case I should be doing it, too. What I don't like to see—people doing things wrong. They're either A) risking injury or B) not really getting the full benefits of their workout. I want to run up to these people and say "woah, hey there...let's just pause for a second," but I don't. They haven't asked for help, and I don't want to be the annoying know-it-all at the gym.
Lucky for me, I have a blog now.
So, to all you stair-steppers out there, with the best of intentions I say just one thing—stand up when you step up! The handlebars on a step machine are there strictly for your balancing purposes. They are not crutches on which you should rest some of your weight. I get that you are tired and I know leaning makes it easier. But this is called cheating, you sneaky exercisers, you. Stand up tall and proud! Hold on...but not for dear life. Keep your weight centered on the steps, and if this is too hard, you may consider lowering the intensity a bit to help you maintain form.
Remember, proper form means full benefits.