Mastering the Art of Stairway Persuasion

A new study shows that a friendly reminder of the health benefits of taking the stairs can cause a sustainable increase in their use, writes Jeannine Stein.
February 7, 2012, 10am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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A study recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine demonstrated that signs posted in public areas of three building types -- a three-story health clinic, an eight-story academic site and a 10-story affordable housing building -- were effective in increasing stair trips by 9.2%, 34.7%, and 33.6% in each respective building.

According to Stein, "The signs featured a pictogram of a man walking up stairs with text that read, 'Burn calories, not electricity. Take the stars.' The submessage read, 'Walking up the stairs just 2 minutes a day helps prevent weight gain. It also helps the environment.'"

"At the health clinic and affordable housing units the signs were left in place, and increased stair use was pretty much maintained at a nine-month follow-up."

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Published on Friday, February 3, 2012 in Los Angeles Times
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