How would you respond if these words were on a sign posted by a staircase?
- Encouraging cues do work.
In a 2013 study, 49 per cent more subway riders in Singapore chose the stairs over the escalators when signs such as “I want to climb the stairs to fitness” were posted over a four-week period.
- Increasing stair use results in measurable health improvements.
A study at the University Hospital of Geneva in Switzerland took a battery of health measurements from 77 employees before and after a 12-week campaign in which posters and floor stickers encouraged stair use. The results, published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, showed that the workers had increased the number of flights ascended and descended from 4.5 a day to 20.6 a day, and as a result had increased their aerobic fitness by 9.2 per cent. They also lost weight and significantly improved blood pressure and cholesterol scores.
- Taking the stairs saves time.
Doctors at Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital published a lighthearted study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2011. For 56 trips ranging from one to six stories, the stairs took an average of 13.1 seconds per floor (without “rushing”) while the two sets of elevators took 37.5 and 35.6 seconds per floor, including the time spent waiting. That adds up to a savings of about 15 minutes a day – enough to make an impression on time-pressed health-care workers.
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