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Could a Well-Placed "Nudge" Get People to Take the Stairs?

An innovative experiment in "environmental calorie labeling" is based on the idea that well-placed information on the benefits of specific physical activities will prompt people to choose healthier options.
December 18, 2013, 6am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"A new U.K. project hopes we can get people to think differently about stairs by mapping and rating the world's stairwells for their calorie-burning potential," reports Ben Schiller. "StepJockey wants to create a giant informal fitness network. Call it the universal StairMaster."

The website lets users calculate the calorie-burning benefits of specific staircases, and provides the information in a graphically-pleasing poster that's ready for print. 

"In behavioral economics, StepJockey's signs are known as "nudges"--discrete informational interventions that appear at moments of maximum potential impact (in this case, when people are waiting for the elevator). And tests show the approach could be quite effective. StepJockey, which is funded by the British government, installed signs in three big office buildings in London, and found that stair-use increased 29% after 250,000 journeys."

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Published on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 in Fast Company Co.Exist
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